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John W. Campbell, 

. . . the inertia of the human mind and its resistance to in- 
novation are most clearly demonstrated not, as one might expect, 
by the ignorant mass— which is easily swayed once its imagination 
is caught— but by professionals with a vested interest in tradition 
and in the monopoly of learning. Innovation is a twofold threat to 
academic mediocrities; it endangers their oracular authority, and 
it evokes the deeper fear that their whole laboriously constructed 
intellectual edifice may collapse. 

ARTHUR KOESTLER, The Sleepwalkers 

John W. Campbell, 



selected by Harry Harrison 




"Coincidence Day" by John Brunner, "Fighting Division" by Randall 
Garrett, "Overproof" by Jonathan Blake MacKenzie, "The Adventure 
of the Extraterrestrial" by Mack Reynolds, "Say It With Flowers" 
by Winston P. Sanders, "Balanced Ecology" by James H. Schmitz, 
reprinted by permission of the authors and the authors' agent, 
Scott Meredith Literary Agency, Inc. 

"Countercommandment" by Patrick Meadows, reprinted by permission 
of the author. 

"Mission 'Red Clash'" by Joe Poyer, reprinted by permission of the 

"Computers Don't Argue" by Gordon Dickson, reprinted by permission 
of the author and the author's agent, Robert P. Mills Literary Agent. 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 66-24320 
Copyright © 1966 by John W. Campbell and Harry Harrison 
Copyright © 1943, 1948, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 
i960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 by the Conde Nast Publications, 

All Rights Reserved 

Printed in the United States of America 

First Edition 


When I was fifteen years old I thought John W. Campbell was 
God. Since that time I have altered my views a bit— but I am sure 
that there must be boys that age who are today reading Analog 
with much the same emotion. While teen-age enthusiasms are a 
commonplace, it must be realized that a difference exists here, 
for this is the same magazine that Albert Einstein subscribed 
to, the one that Wernher von Braun had sent to him by way of 
Sweden during the war, so that he would not miss a single issue. 

John W. Campbell became editor of Astounding Stories in 1937, 
a position that he has held ever since. He guided the meta- 
morphosis of that garish-covered pulp magazine through a num- 
ber of wonderful and intricate title changes and physical shapes, 
to its present form as Analog Science Fiction/ Science Fact. Or 
more simply, Analog— or ASF— to its quarter of a million readers 
and vociferous supporters. Every issue of ASF since 1938 has 
contained an editorial by John W. Campbell. In the very early 
years these usually took the form of a boxed page of description 
of the stories in the issue or future plans for the magazine, ordi- 
nary editor-reader matters. However odd bits of information and 
opinion began to creep in, until all the references to the fiction 
were squeezed out of the editorial and formed into other depart- 
ments of the magazine. The editorials took on a unique character 
of their own, they became Campbell Editorials, and have been 
the center of controversy ever since. 

It would be unfair to consider these editorials in the abstract, 
since they are irrevocably linked with the magazine that con- 
tained them and the man who wrote them. 

ASF cannot be dismissed as just another science fiction maga- 
zine. As regards its fictional content the history is very clear— 
the best of all the modern writers were developed in its pages, 
and the appearance of their stories in this magazine marked the 
change from pulp fiction to modern fiction. All credit must be 


extended to them for the maturity of their work, but at the same 
time due credit should be given as well to the editor for guiding 
their hands. None of these writers has been so small as to deny 
the influence of John Campbell, and the number of books that 
have been dedicated to him gives evidence of this. At a guess I 
would say there are at least thirty, a record that I am sure is 
unique in literature. 

John W. Campbell is a born trouble-maker. The mere fact that 
something exists and that millions believe in it does not con- 
vince Campbell of its validity. Quite the opposite, this seems to 
be the point where he begins to doubt. His background ap- 
pears to be ideally suited to this task, since he was introduced 
to physical science at the age of three, became interested in phi- 
losophy at six and read his first science fiction at the age of eight. 
He made himself thoroughly unpopular with other children by 
treating all their games and enthusiasms as problems in need of 
a solution. Once he had solved the problem— such as using a 
standard naval search pattern, a spiral moving out from the cen- 
ter, to wipe out the game of hide-and-seek— he lost interest and 
moved on to something new. 

If we can thank the depression for anything, it is for blighting 
the career that Campbell was trained for. He went first to MIT, 
but graduated from Duke University where he took his degree 
in physics at a time when no one at all was interested in hiring 
physicists. His education may not have been the ideal training 
for the jobs he held as a car and air-conditioner salesman, but it 
certainly helped him to write science fiction. He had been writ- 
ing—and selling— SF while still an undergraduate, and he con- 
tinued to do so on an expanding scale. It was good fiction; stories 
written then for the pulps are still in print today— as books. 

All of the parts of Campbell's work overlap and are related. 
First as a writer, then becoming editor of one of the magazines 
that published his stories. While he was editor he wrote a hand- 
ful of stories and sold them to himself under a pen name. This is 
an accepted editorial practice, particularly when income tax pay- 
ments are coming due, but Campbell did it because writers were 
not turning in the kind of "thought variant" stories he wanted 
to print. So he had to give them samples of what he was looking 


for. He stopped writing stories as examples as soon as he had 
mastered the technique of the Campbell editorial inquisition, or 
writer's conference. This has been likened, by writers who have 
experienced it, to being fed through a buzz saw or a man-sized 
meatgrinder. It is a painful process, I'll vouch for that, because a 
Campbell conversation consists almost entirely of loaded ques- 
tions that demand answers. No one really likes to be forced to 
think. Campbell forces you. It is a heartening experience that 
should be part of the training of all budding SF writers, pro- 
viding their hearts are in good shape and their sweat glands 
functioning well. 

Through the years, while all of this had been going on, John 
Campbell was writing an editorial every month. These are idio- 
syncratic, personal, prejudiced, far-reaching, annoying, and sab- 
otaging. All of these terms have been applied by readers— and 
far stronger ones as well. An editorial on physics always pro- 
duces a flood of correspondence that appears as four or five 
pages of mathematical symbols in Brass Tacks, the letter column. 
The next editorial, on politics, will bring the social scientists out 
of the woodwork with arguments blasting, both pro and con. For 
almost thirty years now the Campbell editorials have produced 
shouts of joy and moans of pain from thousands of ASF readers. 

Campbell is always happiest when far out on a limb, and a 
good number of his editorials have been prognosticative. Very 
often the prophecy has been right. As long ago as 1938 he pre- 
dicted that atomic energy would be released, and encouraged his 
writers to do stories about both the atomic bomb and the peace- 
ful uses of nuclear fission. In the mid- 1940s, just after the first 
atomic bomb had been dropped, he looked ahead to future de- 
velopments and predicted that this weapon would someday be 
outclassed by the hydrogen bomb. Mulling over the problems that 
would face the designers of this bomb, he suggested that they use 
the infinitely cheaper lithium hydride rather than tritium. Though 
a good number of atomic physicists read the magazine they did 
not consider using it as a textbook. They should have. A $2,000,- 
000,000 plant was built to produce tritium and in 1952 the first 
hydrogen bomb was exploded. The Russians, who did not have 
the facilities or techniques to manufacture tritium, found a way 

viii collected editorials from Analog 

to make lithium hydride work instead in their hydrogen bomb. 
This chemical costs $12 a pound. If the Atomic Energy Com- 
mission had read the ASF editorials more closely they might have 
saved a few billion dollars. 

There is no point in attempting to describe a Campbell 
editorial; in the following pages the reader may see for himself 
just what varied forms this creature takes. Neither will I claim 
that these are the only editorials that could be assembled in book 
form. Taken in their entirety they add up to a five-foot shelf of 
original thinking on a number of topics, and I have made a purely 
personal choice of those which I considered the most interesting 
and the most characteristic. I have called upon many people for 
aid, and have received it, since it appears that everyone has at 
least one favorite. There has been no shortage of material: at a 
modest estimate the editorials have totaled more than 900,000 
words over the past twenty-eight years. 

Inevitably, the passing of time has ruled out the inclusion of 
some. Many of the editorials of the late '40s and early '50s dealt 
with current and pending advances in atomic theory and practice. 
In other cases fact has caught up with editorial prediction. 

Veteran readers of the magazine will look in vain for at least 
two topics that have been associated with the pages of ASF; the 
machine known as the Dean Drive, and that rather eccentric 
theory of mental aberration, Dianetics. This is not wilful censor- 
ship on my part, but has been dictated by the material. John W. 
Campbell never wrote an editorial advocating either of these 
discoveries. I will be glad to aid all those who raise a howl of 
agony at this bit of alarming news; you'll find the editorial 
about Dianetics in the May 1950 issue, and the one about the 
Dean Drive in the issue dated exactly ten years later, May i960. 
About is the proper word to use since both editorials talk about 
the subject in question and mention briefly that an article or 
articles will appear on the subject. John W. Campbell did not 
champion either of these causes. The cause he supported— with 
blasts on the trumpet and salvos of artillery— was the right for 
controversial ideas to see print and to be considered by the 
authorities. That was all he ever said. His magazine printed the 
material, the follow-up articles, and the vitriolic correspondence. 


He himself championed neither— just their right to be heard. Go 
ahead and look. It surprised me too. 

In making the final selection I have tried to be as far-reaching 
as I could, including representative pieces to form as broad a 
spectrum of topics as possible. But in one case I must admit to 
personal prejudice, that is the editorial entitled A Matter of De- 
gree. It concerns a characteristic of atomic reactors termed the 
k-factor, and how this factor might be applied to human be- 
haviour. When I first read this it sparked a train of thought that 
produced a story that I titled— with great imagination— The 
k-Factor. Campbell editorials, like Campbell conversation, are 
stuffed with story ideas that are free for the taking. That is all 
they are. There is no positive feedback cycle that guarantees 
that the editor will buy his own idea when dolled up as a piece 
of fiction. It must still be a successful piece of fiction in its own 
right. A small army of filing cabinets could be filled with the re- 
jects of authors who imagined otherwise. 

I have grouped the editorials for easy reference, though as far 
as interest goes this volume can be dipped into at random, or 
read from back to front. The editorials were written as separate 
and distinct entities, and defiantly remain that way. Four of 
them even managed to avoid categorizing, other than being 
forced into the very elastic mould of being used as the closing 
pieces in the book. It is here that you will find the only Campbell 
editorial ever written about science fiction itself, Non-Escape 
Literature. In the opening group there is Hyperinfracaniphilia, 
the editorial that raised the most enthusiasm— or at least brought 
in the most mail. 

Regular ASF readers who are hurt that John W. Campbell did 
not champion the Dean Drive or Dianetics, will be cheered by 
We MUST Study Psi, which uncompromisingly plugs for greater 
attention to what used to be called mental telepathy or extra- 
sensory perception. But the backbone of the argument here is that 
there are incontrovertible forms of PSI that anyone can demon- 
strate. John Campbell is a difficult man to argue with. 

In the March 1965 Analog he said this: 

Editorially, I shall continue to try to investigate the nature of 
the stuffing in any suspiciously bulging shirts around. My business 


is directly concerned with the progress and achievement of the 
human race; any orthodoxy that tends to sidetrack or otherwise 
impede progress is interfering with my business, and I'll do whet 
I can to sabotage them. 

This is a good statement of what these editorials basically are, 
but it is not a complete one. It does not describe the unique twist 
of the Campbellian mind that sees the entire world from a dif- 
ferent angle— and holds up a mirror that enables us to see it that 
way too. It leaves out the capacity to pull in apparently unre- 
lated factors from disparate fields to generate a new picture of 
reality. It omits the constantly renewed enthusiasm that makes 
reading the editorials a pleasure. 

I would like to thank Dr. Leon E. Stover for both advice and 
aid in uncovering copies of magazines I no longer possessed, and 
Kingsley Amis for suggestions and literary succor. My gratitude 
also to Brian W. Aldiss, Poul Anderson, James Blish, and Tom 
Boardman, Jr., for their assistance. 

I would particularly like to thank John W. Campbell for writing 
the editorials and for editing the magazine that I have read with 
pleasure for every one of those twenty-eight years. May he con- 
tinue to do so in the twenty-eight to come. 


London January 1966 




The Lesson of Thalidomide Jan. 2963 3 

Segregation Oct. 2963 12 

Hyperinfracaniphilia Feb. 2965 26 

Breakthrough in Psychology! Dec. 2965 32 


Arithmetic and Empire Nov. 1Q43 45 

Note for Chemists Sept. 2952 48 

Space for Industry Apr. ig6o 52 


No Copying Allowed Nov. 2048 61 

"Our Catalogue Number . . ." July 2953 65 

The Scientist Dec. 2953 69 

Relatively Absolute July 2954 74 

"I Know What You Say. . ." Aug. 2957 82 

Research is Antisocial Apr. 2958 87 


The Value of Panic Aug. 2956 97 

"Fully Identified . . " Jan. 2964 103 

( additional material ) Sept. ig6$ 108 

Louis Pasteur, Medical Quack June 2964 109 

"The Laws of Things" June 2965 123 



"You Know What I Mean . . " Aug. 1953 133 

Limitation on Logic Mar. 1954 138 


The Demeaned Viewpoint May 1955 145 

A Matter of Degree Oct. 1957 151 

On The Selective Breeding of Human Beings Feb. 1961 156 

Astrologer— Astronomer— Astro-Engineer Sept. 1962 165 

Hydrogen Isnt Cultural Dec. 1963 173 


Constitution for Utopia May 1961 181 

Colonialism Apr. 1961 193 

Keeperism July 1965 203 


We Must Study Psi Jan. 1959 217 

Non-Escape Literature Feb. 1959 227 

Where Did Everybody Go? July 1963 232 

God Isn't Democratic Apr. 1964 244 



The thalidomide disaster is, of course, by no means finished; it 
will continue to be a disaster at least as long as any of the affected 
babies are living. And the lesson the human race can learn from 
that thalidomide disaster should go on . . . well, really, forever. 

Unfortunately, I have not seen the proper lesson of the thalid- 
omide results published anywhere; what I have seen published 
has, in every case, been exactly the wrong lesson. 

Many thousands of years ago now, Man first learned— first of all 
animals— the correct lesson from being burned by fire. The lesson 
had to do with how you could handle fire; the other animals only 
learned to fear fire. 

The importance of that difference is that they are still animals 
—and this is Man's world. 

The basic lesson to learn from the thalidomide problem is, sim- 
ply, that human beings were, are, and always will be expended 
in the process of learning more about the Universe we live in— 
and that we'd be wiser to acknowledge that, and accept it. When 
you do true exploration into the Unknown— some explorers are 
going to die. John Glenn stated very flatly that men were going 
to be killed in the effort to penetrate space— that he was lucky, 
but that deaths were inevitable. 

The human race just expended several thousand babies in a 
battle against disease and misery; this has happened before, and 
we would be most wise to recognize quite clearly— as clearly as 
Glenn recognized his danger— that it will most certainly happen 

And there isn't one thing we can do about it. 

Human life is not sacred; it is expendable for cause. The Uni- 
verse doesn't hold it sacred, quite obviously; if we do, we're un- 
realistic—which means essentially, "neurotic." 

Let's take a solid, rational look at the story of thalidomide. 

In the first place, Dr. Frances Kelsey acted in a whimsical, ar- 


bitrary, illogical, and unscientific manner in failing to license 
thalidomide for distribution in this country. Her course of action— 
actually, her course of inaction— was absolutely unjustifiable. 

The fact that it was completely correct and right has nothing 
whatever to do with the question of whether or not it was 
logical, scientific, or justifiable. It may have been a case of pure 
"woman's intuition" working with illogical, but magnificent ac- 
curacy. It may have been a case of precognition— of seeing the 
future accurately. If either were the case, it would have been 
totally unscientific, illogical, indefensible . . . and right. 

It might have been simply someone with a constitutional in- 
ability to make a decision who kept thalidomide off the market 
in the United States— one of the type who simply cant bring 
themselves to make a definite decision. 

Such a person would have been just as helpful, in this case, as 
Dr. Kelsey. 

Fundamentally, Dr. Kelsey had absolutely no scientific reason- 
no defensible justification— for not granting thalidomide a license. 
Her actions with respect to the ethical pharmaceutical company 
seeking to produce it were arbitrary, whimsical, and unjust. 

All of those statements remain one hundred per cent true de- 
spite the fact that she saved hundreds, or thousands, of personal 
tragedies by her inaction. The only circumstance under which 
it could be held that her actions were logical and just are that you 
hold that Dr. Kelsey had clear, reliable, dependable extrasensory 
perception by which she perceived clearly and reliably the future 
facts that, at the time, were not available. 

And that is, basically, why we must acknowledge and accept 
that the thalidomide type disaster will recur so long as human 
beings seek to explore for a better way of doing things. 

Study the history of thalidomide briefly: It was synthesized 
first by a Swiss pharmaceutical firm. Tests of the new com- 
pound were made on animals, and it was found that thalidomide 
had no effects— either positive or negative. It was an "inert in- 
gredient" so far as the animals were concerned; the substance was 
abandoned in 1954. 

Then the West German company, Chemie Grunenthal, started 
further investigations on it. Their careful tests also showed that it 


had no pharmacological effects on animals. The only reason they 
persisted was that thalidomide had now acquired a "crucial exper- 
iment" importance, practically. According to the best theoretical 
understandings, that particular type of molecular structure should 
have sedative effect— and if thalidomide did not have any ef- 
fect, the theory needed some serious reworking. 

So Grunenthal tried it on human patients— on epileptics as a 
possible anticonvulsant. It did not act as an anticonvulsant, but 
did act as an excellent sleep-inducer, in human beings. It gave 
restful, all-night sleep without after-effects, and was remarkably 
safe— so safe it could be sold without prescription. It was, literally, 
safer than aspirin; would-be suicides have succeeded by taking 
sufficiently massive quantities of aspirin— but would-be suicides 
who tried massive doses of thalidomide simply woke up after a 
somewhat prolonged sleep. It was far safer than the barbiturates; 
Marilyn Monroe's death by barbiturates would not have suc- 
ceeded, had thalidomide replaced the barbiturates as tranquil- 

The "goofball" addiction would not be able to replace bar- 
biturates with thalidomide; it doesn't act that way. 

Thalidomide, as of i960, had proven itself to be by far the 
safest, gentlest, most nearly fool-proof sedative pharmacology had 
yet discovered. Even by intent, a man couldn't hurt himself with 
the stuff! 

The situation then was that a drug which could replace the 
very useful, but somewhat dangerous, barbiturates had become 
available— a drug so safe small children could use it— and so safe 
small children getting into the forbidden medical cabinet 
wouldn't kill themselves with it. 

As of late i960, then, Dr. Kelsey's whimsical, arbitrary, and un- 
justified action— or inaction— was keeping from the American pub- 
lic a drug which could replace a definitely dangerous, definitely 
toxic, and somewhat habit-forming drug, the barbiturates. 

Thalidomide had been tested again and again by major ethical 
pharmaceutical houses, had been approved for nonprescription 
sale by government after government, and had been widely and 
safely used by many millions of people all through Europe. 


Dr. Kelsey was, by nit-picking and dillydallying tactics, blocking 
the licensing of a safe, proven, and cheap replacement for a 
known-to-be-somewhat-toxic drug. 

Logically, that position was totally unjustifiable. 

It had all the earmarks of a petty Civil Servant tyrant, fussing 
endlessly, delighting over the power red-tape gave . . . 

At this time— say January, 1961— there was no scientific reason 
to doubt that thalidomide was one hundred per cent safe, and a 
very successful drug. 

In early 1961, some reports of a polyneuritis effect due to long- 
continued massive dosing with thalidomide began to appear. Its 
symptoms were a tingling "leg's gone to sleep" sort of feeling in 
hands and feet; discontinuation of the thalidomide dosing cleared 
up the cases usually, fairly promptly. 

Be it remembered that the barbiturates, which thalidomide 
sought to replace, were favorite suicide pills, were habit form- 
ing, and had plenty of not-so-good possibilities latent in them. 
Of the two, thalidomide was far and away the safer . . . on the 
basis of all available data. 

But that slight tendency to peripheral neuritis when overused 
for long periods was the only slightest indication that thalidomide 
had any untoward effects. 

Dr. Kelsey promptly used that data as a basis for more, and 
more elaborate nit-picking and inaction. She demanded more 
reams of then-unobtainable data. Her position was, at that time, 
for the first time, faintly logical— slightly defensible on the basis of 
scientifically acceptable data. But it would still be rated as poor 
judgment and exaggerated caution. The American pharmaceuti- 
cal company seeking to market thalidomide, naturally, was grow- 
ing quite impatient with the unjustifiable and indefensible, and 
thoroughly illogical delaying tactics that were blocking them. 

Neither "womanly intuition" nor "a strong hunch" has ever been 
held to constitute adequate grounds for governmental rulings, 
and precognition isn't considered to exist. 

A German doctor was the first to suspect thalidomide of its 
actual disastrous characteristic— and it was November 15, 1961 
that he first warned the Grunenthal company that he suspected 
their thalidomide preparation of being responsible for the "seal- 


baby" epidemic then appearing in Germany. At this time his 
data was still too scanty for him to make a definite statement. His 
first public discussion— "public" in the sense that it was made to 
an official medical group meeting in Germany— was on Novem- 
ber 20, 1961— and then he was not in a position to state that tha- 
lidomide was responsible, but merely to say he strongly suspected 
a certain drug, which he did not name. 

At this point in the development of the problem, data came in 
very rapidly; within a month thalidomide's danger was clearly 
recognized . . . and only then did Dr. Kelsey's inaction on 
the licensing application become absolutely defensible. 

That the United States was saved from this disaster was not 
—repeat not— due to any scientific, logical, reasonable or 
even justifiable action. It was due to those totally indefensible 
and anathematized things, "a hunch" and/or "woman's in- 

That Dr. Kelsey's hunch was one hundred per cent valid has 
nothing whatever to do with whether it was logical; for all I 
can know, she may have perfect and reliable trans-temporal clair- 
voyance, so that, in i960, she was reading the medical reports 
published in late 1961, and basing her decisions very logically 
on that trans-temporal data. 

The essential point is that no possible logical method can pre- 
vent another thalidomide-like disaster. 

If the Federal Drug Administration can recruit a staff of expert 
crystal-ball gazers, tea-leaf readers and Tarot-card shufflers, it 
might be possible for the F.D.A. to rule correctly on all future 
drug licensing applications. Nothing short of genuine precognition 
can prevent such disasters completely. 

Let's imagine the most completely and perfectly conservative, 
cautious, experimental program we can think of that will still 
allow some progress in medicine. 

Suppose we require the following steps: 

1. Careful and complete animal testing before any human test- 
ing is permitted. 

2. A two-year test period on a very limited number of human 


beings so that, if there is some joker in the deck, it will afflict only 
a small number of people at worst. 

3. A second two-year test on a larger number of patients— say 
about ten thousand people. 

4. Released as a prescription medication only for another two- 
year period, so that close observation can be maintained. 

Sounds reasonable and conservative? And yet there are a few 
known instances where a substance has a time-bomb effect so 
delayed that as much as fifteen years may elapse before the 
deadly effect appears. Beryllium dust poisoning is one example of 
a time-delay bomb. If you inhale BeO dust, it definitely wont 
hurt you a bit right away— and cases of a fifteen-year delay have 
been reported. 

Inasmuch as we now have pretty good indication that genetic 
information is carried as a chemical code on protein molecules, it's 
conceivable that a substance might be discovered which affected 
only the genetic cells of unborn babies. That one would first begin 
to show its effects about eighteen years after it went into use. 
(Yes, some girls affected by the stuff would start having babies at 
thirteen or so . . . but not until a large number of affected in- 
dividuals had babies would the statistical numbers become large 
enough for credibility and identification.) 

So even a very, very cautious five-year system wouldn't catch 
all the time-bomb drugs. 

And we cant run a fifty-year program like that! If someone 
finds a cancer cure today, will the world wait until our grand- 
children demonstrate that it has no hidden menace, do you 

And as to that cautious, two-year-plus-two-year program . . . 
thalidomide would have been licensed with flying colors! 

Test 1 is the animal test. Thalidomide proved completely harm- 
less—in fact completely ineffective!— to the usual laboratory an- 
imals. (Since the blowup, it's been found that enormous doses 
of thalidomide will not make a rabbit sleep . . . but will cause 
a pregnant rabbit to produce abnormal young. Equally massive 
doses of barbiturates don't do that; they kill the rabbit. It wouldn't 
have indicated anything to the investigators except that thalid- 
omide was safer than barbiturates! And it has now been dis- 


covered that, for reasons so far known only to God, thalidomide 
does make horses sleep! But who uses horses as "convenient lab- 
oratory animals for testing new drugs"? And why should they; 
horses are herbivores, with a metabolism quite a long way from 
Man's. Monkeys are expensive— and they don't really match 

Test 2— trying it on a small group of patients first. 

Now the first slight indication that thalidomide could have some 
bad side-effects was that neuritis business. It results from pro- 
longed overuse of the drug. 

The doctors administering the first test-use of the new drug 
would, of course, regulate it carefully. There would be no long- 
continued overuse under their administration— and therefore tha- 
lidomide wouldn't have produced any neuritis. 

On that first, limited-sample test, there would be an inevitable, 
human tendency to avoid pregnant young women as test sub- 
jects for so experimental a drug. 

Result: thalidomide would have checked in as one hundred per 
cent safe and effective. 

The final two-year test was several thousand people. On this 
one we don't have to guess; we've got the statistics. 

During the time thalidomide was being considered by the Fed- 
eral Drug Administration for licensing in this country, selected 
physicians in the United States were sent supplies of the drug 
for experimental use. 

Under this program, 15,904 people are known to have taken 
the pills. Certainly that's a good-sized second-level testing group 
for our proposed hyper-cautious test system. 

Of those nearly 16,000 people, about 1 in 5— 3,272— were 
women of child-bearing age, and 207 of them were pregnant at 
the time. 

There were no abnormal babies born, and no cases of poly- 
neuritis reported. 

Thalidomide passed the cautious tests with flying colors. 

Now the abnormalities that thalidomide does cause are some 
kind of misdirection of the normal growth-forces of the foetus. 
The abnormalities are of a type that was well known to medicine 


long before thalidomide came along— abnormal babies have been 
produced for all the years the human race has existed, re- 

Suppose that in our test, some women did bear abnormal 
babies. Say three of them were abnormal, and lived. (A goodly 
number of the thalidomide-distorted babies died within hours. It 
doesn't only affect arms and legs; thalidomide can mix up the 
internal organs as though they had been stirred with a spoon.) 

So . . . ? So what? Aren't a certain number of abnormal babies 
appearing all the time anyway? And with all this atomic-bomb 
testing going on . . . and this woman was examined repeatedly 
by X ray during pregnancy . . . and remember that in the normal 
course of nine months of living, she will have taken dozens of 
other drugs, been exposed to uncountable other environmental 
influences, perhaps been in a minor automobile accident . . . 

Not until the drug is "tested" on literally millions of human be- 
ings will it be possible to get sufficiently numerous statistical 
samplings to be able to get significant results. Toss a coin three 
times, and it may come heads every time. This proves coins fall 
heads-up when tossed? 

Another drug was introduced for experimental testing some 
years ago. The physicians who got it were told to check their ex- 
perimental patients carefully for possibilities of damage to liver, 
stomach and/or kidneys, the expected possible undesirable side- 
effects of the drug. Practically no such damage was found— the 
drug was effective, and only in the very exceptional patient 
caused sufficient liver, stomach or kidney reaction to indicate it 
should be discontinued. 

Only it caused blindness. 

The reaction was frequent and severe enough to make the drug 
absolutely impossible as a medicament— and was totally unex- 
pected. It had not caused any such reaction in any of the ex- 
perimental animals. 

No— the lesson of thalidomide is quite simple. 

So long as human beings hope to make progress in control of 
disease and miseiy, some people will be lost in the exploration of 
the unknown. 


There is no way to prevent that. There is no possible system of 
tests that can avoid it— only minimize the risk. 

We could, of course, simply stop trying new drugs at all. 
The animals never did try the pain and the risk of fire. 
They're still animals, too. 

January 1963 


I am strongly in favor of rigidly segregated schools, and I believe 
that you are, in fact, in agreement with me— that it is absolutely 
necessary for the continuation of the United States in the terms 
we know it that our schools be segregated considerably more 
rigidly than they are today. 

The liberals and do-gooders and those with special advantages 
to be gained have brought about changes in our schools, in our 
entire educational system, that is becoming an acute menace to 
America— and the Supreme Court decision such as the Brown vs. 
Board of Education case (the basic case in the integration cases 
in the southern schools during the last decade) was a serious 

In the above statements, I am not referring to racial segrega- 
tion, however. I'm referring instead to the overlooked and enor- 
mously critical problem of segregation by individual student 

The reason why the Negro segregation case, Brown vs. Board of 
Education, is so unfortunately tied up in the mess, is that it has 
been the basis for suits that do, in fact, make for improper integra- 
tion of students of completely different, and noncompatible in- 
herent learning ability. 

The tremendous fuss and furore going on throughout the nation 
over Negro integration— racial integration in general— has so con- 
centrated attention on that one completely unimportant factor 
that the really important factors of inherent individual differences 
have been violently suppressed. 

And when I say that racial difference is a "completely unim- 
portant factor," I mean that— and that proposition is, in actuality, 
what the most rabid integrationist NAACP member holds, too. 
That racial differences are not important. 

The trouble underlying all this boiling-over racism is a com- 
plicated mass of snarled-up thinking, and horribly ill-defined 


terms. No one of the groups most violently involved in the dispute 
has done a half-way honest job of analysis of the facts involved; 
each is acting on violently emotional Doctrines, Dogmas, and 
Principles. And none of those doctrines, dogmas or principles has 
been defined well enough, by any one of the contending groups, 
to make sense of their own position, or that of any of the other 

The result is bad enough with respect to general living condi- 
tions; its effect on the educational system is not merely bad; it's 

I quite deliberately started off this editorial by making a state- 
ment that was practically certain to arouse strong antipathy in 
many readers— for the specific purpose of making it clear that 
you, too, have been suckered into falling for a propagandist's 
definition of "segregation" to such an extent that it's almost im- 
possible today to read a statement without reacting to that propa- 
ganda—value. Just what does "segregation" mean? What's "a 
segregated school"? 

Any non-co-educational school is segregated by sex. 

We have rigidly segregated washrooms all over this country, 
not just in the South. Segregated by sex. And don't get sloppy in 
your thinking and say, "But that's natural! How else could it be?" 
Remember that neither the highly civilized Japanese, nor the 
Finns consider it "natural." 

I noticed in a Savannah, Georgia, paper the other day that a 
Negro and a white woman were contending for some elective 
office in a local campaign. A century ago, both contenders 
would "naturally" have been barred. 

"Segregation" means Negro-vs.-white, does it? For Pete's sake, 
friend, please straighten up your thinking and your terminology 
enough so that rational communication, outside of the 
propaganda-broadside method, is possiblel 

"To segregate" means nothing more than separation of a mixed 
collection into groups having deteiTninably different characteris- 
tics. Like segregating ripe fruit from green fruit. 

The Brown vs. Board of Education case didn't make segre- 
gation, as such, illegal; it made segregation on the basis of race 


alone illegal. It's still perfectly legal to have a school rigidly segre- 
gated on the basis of sex, of course. Or segregated on the basis of 
blindness, or on the basis of requiring that all registrants have 
graduate degrees before being admitted. 

The trouble with the Brown vs. Board of Education decision 
stems not from law, but from libertarian assumptions that were 
built into that case, and from "scientific evidence" that seems to 
be definitely inadequate, and which has been attacked as actually 

Propaganda can produce some results that are straight out of 
fantasy, fairy stories, and the Alice books. Propaganda has the 
wonderful characteristic that Adolf Hitler— one of history's most 
expert and effective propagandists— very clearly stated; a he 
told often and loud enough will overcome truth. Particularly if a 
considerable number of people would like to have it be true. 
Then the Big Lie becomes That Which Should Be True Whether 
It Is Or Not . . . and dedicated believers in the He arise to make 
it true. 

Among the Big Lies of current cultural propaganda are a set of 
meaningless noises that sound like important, deeply philosophi- 
cal Truths— because they strike many people as being desirable. 

Among examples are: 

"Everyone has a right to his own opinion, so long as it doesn't 
interfere with anyone else." 

"All men are equal." 

"What goes up must come down." 

"There's nothing new under the Sun." 

You can extend that list of philosophical-sounding noises al- 
most as far as the trajectory of Mariner II . . . which went up, 
isn't going to come down, and is a new satellite of the Sun. They 
all sound important, and they can be quoted with the 
philosophical-authoritative pompousness appropriate at various 
times when they support your dearly-beloved position, so they 
tend to seem as though they ought to be true whether they are or 
not, so they just must be true. 

That business about opinions, now; what does the stupid thing 
mean? That you are free to think anything you want to, no matter 
how insane it may be, so long as no one else has the slightest 


interest in what you think. So long as your ideas aren't of any 
importance whatever, to anyone else, and don't influence your 
behavior in any degree that bothers anyone else, you can think 
anything you darned well like, and nobody will give a damn. 

Note carefully that if you decide you want to be a hermit, 
however, that interferes with other people's opinions; they have 
the opinion you should work for a living, for instance, so under 
that doctrine of no-interference, you do not have a right to the 
opinion "I want to be a hermit" since it does interfere with some- 
one else. 

The problem is, was, and always will be "What rights exist be- 
tween people when opinions do interfere?" Obviously there's no 
problem so long as opinions don't clash! That silly-season state- 
ment about non-interfering opinions is, of course, a perfectly 
sound proposition to answer a problem that never exists. 

So . . . let's have some thinking about what to do when opin- 
ions do seriously, definitely, interfere; that is the real, human 

As to "all men are equal," that bit of nonsense is equally 
meaningless. Can you tell me one, single respect in which men 
are equal? Equal before God? Not if you accept any of the reli- 
gions which hold that God segregates sinners from saints! And 
offhand I can't think of any religion which holds that God (or 
the Gods) don't judge, evaluate, and make distinctions between 

"Equal before the Law?" Oh . . . yeah . . . ? You mean a 
man of IQ 50 is held to have the same responsibilities and duties 
as a man of IQ 150? That all men must pay equal taxes? That 
some men, who are licensed doctors, don't have, under the law, 
special rights and special duties? That attorneys don't have spe- 
cial rights, privileges and duties before the law? (An attorney 
can't be summoned to jury duty. ) 

The difficulty is that God decided for reasons not clear to us 
that men should not be equal— and He created them with in- 
herent differences. And men cannot undo that fact. But doc- 
trinaires can sure try! 

The deadly part of it is that men can make unequal individuals 
equal by one method; they can cripple the strong, until the best 


has been sabotaged down to the level of the worst. They can take 
away the "unfair advantage" of the intelligent by crippling his 
abilities, punishing his achievements, and destroying his powers, 
until he is less competent than the normal. In times past, Kings 
and Tyrants held that they held the "power of Life and Death"; 
no King or Tyrant in all history has ever held the power of Life. 
They have, however, held the power of death and destruction 
and crippling. 

The doctrinaire— the Tyrant Liberal— today, holds that ancient 
power of Death and Destruction— and that is his weapon to 
achieve what he Just Knows is Right and Just— to make all men 
equal, despite God's unfairness in making some men more capa- 
ble than others. 

In the current cultural situation, it's been made easy to see that 
intransigent southern segregationists are seeking to suppress the 
competent individual Negro, to make him less-than-equal to the 
not-so-bright whites. 

What's not so easy to see in the fog of emotionalism, is that the 
libertarians and do-gooders are seeking to suppress the unusually 
competent individual of any race for the achievement of their 
doctrinal ideal of equality. 

Here's where the trouble comes: a school system that "rewards" 
the more-competent student with more work, harder tasks— and 
no increased privilege, no increased status or desirable reward is, 
in fact, effectively punishing his display of ability. Suppose the 
reward for superior achievement in the classroom— finishing the 
assigned tasks more quickly— was being given the "privilege" of 
scrubbing the floors, polishing the windows, and tending the 
school grounds. Or running errands for the students who were 
slower and hadn't finished their assignments yet. 

Who would, obviously, be the "second-class citizens" of that 
school? The students who were so stupid they acted bright, of 

Such a system of punishment-for-extra-achievement is almost 
inevitable in a school not segregated by intelligence and ability. 
For any individual, a certain level of problem represents a stimu- 
lating challenge; a higher level of difficulty becomes an over- 


whelming task that defeats him, discourages, and drives him to 
withdraw his effort. A too-low level of task simply bores him, 
and he will seek more interesting tasks, or seek to do the assigned 
task in some more stimulating manner. 

The extra-competent, in a randomly selected class, will present 
to the normal and subnormal the fact that the work can be done 
with ease, quickly, and simply— that it can be done offhand as a 
sort of game. They slap the dullards in the face with the clear 
fact that children their own age— not just teachers!— can do that 
work offhand. The honors student who finally gets around to 
doing the term paper the last weekend before it's due . . . and 
earns an A-f for one afternoon's work, while the rest of the class 
spent four to six weeks researching and rewriting to get a pass- 
able paper. 

The super-competent, too, can earn the enmity of the teacher 
in a normal school. Karl Frederick Gauss, for instance, could have 
expected to be punished for one trick he pulled. In a grade- 
school arithmetic class, when he was about seven, the teacher 
had told the class to add all the numbers from 1 to 100— this 
being a good way to keep the children usefully busy while the 
teacher got some of his own work done. 

Young Karl Frederick, however, was up with his answer in 
about two minutes. Young Karl Frederick had not added all the 
numbers from 1 to 100; he'd developed for himself the formula 
for the sum of a series of numbers, and instead of ivorking the 
problem, had solved it— in a matter of seconds. His answer was, 
of course, absolutely correct— which took the teacher some min- 
utes to check. 

But young Gauss was lucky beyond expectation; that teacher 
was wise. He recommended Gauss to the local Duke as a proper 
subject for patronage; Gauss' family was poor and could not have 
given him an education. 

In an educational system dedicated to the problem of produc- 
ing equality— such a teacher is out of place. That teacher was not 
producing equality; by seeing that Gauss got special reward for 
remarkable ability, the teacher exaggerated an already existant 

Unsegregated schools are injurious to the subnormal and the 


geniuses alike. The subnormal, discouraged and overwhelmed by 
the equality-for-all problems presented them, withdraw from the 
hopeless effort of education, and achieve far less than their al- 
ready limited potentials. An equality-for-all school does not allow 
the less-talented to develop the maximum of the abilities they do 

And it does not allow the abnormally competent to develop 
their high talents. It's stupid to expect a normal school teacher, 
herself oriented to everybody-ought-to-be-equal and nobody-has- 
a-right-to-special-advantages, to welcome the idea of some ten- 
year-old who can outthink her, penetrate the errors of her logic, 
call her on sloppy statements, and do a job of research in the 
library such that the teacher is forced to acknowledge her lack of 
information on her subject. 

But . . . now we run into a very nasty aspect of the Brown vs. 
Board of Education decision, and its subsequent development. 

Recently, several towns in New Jersey have been forced to 
"integrate" their "segregated" schools; the basis of the NAACP 
suit was that one school had a ninety per cent Negro enrollment, 
and the other a ninety per cent white enrollment. This, they con- 
tended, constituted de facto racial segregation. 

That particular town had a population distribution by areas 
that made that the natural result. The NAACP was, of course, 
just as hotly against that sort of population distribution— but that 
wasn't the legal point in the case. 

It was decided that because of the fact that registration did not 
show a proportional representation by race, that therefore there 
was de facto segregation. 

That is not a logical or valid conclusion. 

It certainly falls in the class of "data insufficient for the con- 
clusion proposed." 

Yet that is an accepted proposition— and that proposition alone 
would be enough to cause great difficulty in setting up 
segregated-by-student-ability schools. 

There is a never rigorously proven assumption that's thrown 
around in all racial arguments that all races show the same dis- 
tribution curve of intelligence and ability. That has not been 


There's adequate evidence to the contrary, available from a 
number of lines of analysis. First, in a normal distribution curve, 
the number of individuals— in a statistically significant large popu- 
lation—in any one range gives the scale of the curve; from the 
curve, then, the number in any other range can be predicted. 
That is, if we find one hundred twenty-five high geniuses at IQ 
180, knowing the shape of the distribution curve, we can predict 
how many individuals of IQ 100 there will be in this population, 
et cetera. 

Now if all races have the same distribution curve, then knowing 
the population of the group, we can predict how many super-high 
geniuses will appear. 

Something seems to be wrong; some gears slipped somewhere. 
The assumptions don't match the facts. The Caucasian race has 
produced super-high-geniuses by the dozen in the last five thou- 
sand years; the Oriental race has, also. The Negro race has not. 
And it's the super-high geniuses, not the ordinary, or run-of-the- 
mill geniuses, that lift a people from one level of civilization to 
another. The Industrial Revolution, for example, depended on a 
number of super-high-geniuses, backed up by a corps of high 
geniuses, working with an army of geniuses. The super-high- 
geniuses are never educated; they educate themselves, because 
there's no one around to teach them. Who could teach Abraham 
Lincoln, for instance? Who could teach Leonardo da Vinci? Cer- 
tainly Newton did have formal schooling— but the schools he at- 
tended were attended by a lot of other young men, and there 
does not seem to have been any sudden flood of Newtons coming 
from them. "Educational opportunities" never exist anywhere for 
the super-high-geniuses. 

The fact that the Caucasian race has produced more super- 
high-geniuses in the last five thousand years suggests that the 
distribution curve for the Caucasian race does not in fact match 
that of other races. 

I'm not talking about text-book type psychological-testing 
geniuses here; I'm talking about the individual of super-high, 
unmatchable pragmatic achievement. Anyone who says that 
Newton wasn't a super-high genius is off his rocker. 

These super-high geniuses produced achievement that pro- 


moted the survival ability and adaptability of their race. Pasteur 
made it possible for men to adapt to disease-saturated areas by 
intellectual act that had, theretofore, been uninhabitable save by 
the slow process of genetic selection and evolution. This achieve- 
ment made men more adaptable. 

You don't have to rate those achievements in any special cul- 
tural terms— increased adaptability is the pay-off coin in the evo- 
lution of living things! The great chemists made it possible for 
human beings to eat rocks, drink petroleum, and be nourished. 
The race is more adaptable because of their genius— and that is 
a positive gain in absolute, not merely cultural, terms! 

There is an indication, then, that the white race may in actual 
fact have a distribution curve that does not match that of the 

Note the important factor in citing the super-high geniuses; 
educational opportunities play no part whatever in the develop- 
ment of any super-high genius. There is not, never was, and never 
can be anywhere or anywhen, in any land or race, a school for 
educating super-high geniuses. The thing that characterize the 
super-high genius is his ability to self-educate to totally new and 
hitherto undiscovered horizons. They are always self-made men. 
Newton needed calculus to solve his gravitational problems— and 
he lacked the educational opportunity. Nobody ever taught him 
calculus. So he had to invent it. 

Karl Frederick Gauss wasn't taught to find the sum of a series 
of numbers; he invented it. 

The super-high genius, then, is an indicator of a people that is 
not dependent on educational opportunities— because the oppor- 
tunities never exist for any of them! 

And there is other and more ordinary evidence that propor- 
tional representation of races is not the right answer. 

To carry out a really wide-spread, long-continued, massive test- 
ing program, involving tens of thousands of individuals, and keep- 
ing track of them for some years, is an expensive proposition. 
The money for such a program is not easy to come by. 

Most of the discussions of racial distribution of intelligence has 
been based on pretty limited samples, or quite inadequate testing. 


The old WWI Army Alpha intelligence test results, for instance, 
are still among the few massive test-score result records, and 
are still being used simply because they're available. 

The schools system of Savannah, Georgia, since 1954, has car- 
ried out a massive testing program. Standard IQ tests, Mental 
maturity tests, and scholastic achievement tests were given to all 
students in the Savannah school system, and punched-card 
records kept for nine years, and the results computer analyzed. 

The results showed that, at beginning grade-school level, the 
Negro children had a fifteen per cent crossover with the white 
children's scores. (That is, fifteen per cent of the Negro children 
scored at or above the level of the norm of the white children. ) 
At high school level, the crossover had dropped to two per cent. 

Now let's just consider for a moment the emotional fireworks 
that would result from setting up a school system that was 
strictly, honestly segregated purely by individual student com- 
petence, simply using those figures for discussion purposes. 

Assume that we have a city with a fifty-fifty distribution of 
Negro and white population, and that we set up two school sys- 
tems; one for those above the white norm, and one for those be- 
low that norm. 

The Doctrine, Dogma and Principles boys will be out for Hell 
and hallelujah. Both sides will be. The intransigent white segrega- 
tionists will be shrieking in defense of their violated Principle of 
the Color Bar. Their howls of rage will be exceeded, however, 
by the violent anguish of the NAACP, at the destruction of their 
Principle of Proportional Representation. But those howls won't 
be audible above the far louder and angrier screams of the 
parents of the children who have been officially designated "in- 
competent; second-class citizen." The whites will, of course, be 
peculiarly violent about that, because that's precisely what 
they've been afraid of for a century or so— the admission that 
some Negroes are superior to some whites. 

The acute psychological pain resulting from such a system will 
be very real indeed— and will, curiously, bring the underlying 
principles of the Brown vs. Board of Education case into the 
thing in a sort of back-handed manner! 

The basis for the Supreme Court's decision in Brown vs. Board 


of Education was testimony by a psychologist that segregation 
imposed psychological hurt on the rejected Negro children. 

The Court's decision, then, was, in effect, that it was illegal to 
cause someone psychological hurt. 

So we now have a very interesting question that needs resolu- 
tion; if it hurts an individual to be told the truth, is it illegal- 
unconstitutional— to make him aware of that truth? Of course, 
that general idea is part of our present cultural philosophy— the 
poor, misguided sadist shouldn't be made unhappy about his 
misdeeds. And this poor, disturbed child shouldn't get severe 
punishment just because he slugged the corner cigar-store owner, 
stole his money, and set fire to his place. It isn't nice to hurt 
people; it should never be done, because it isn't Kind and Good 
and Brotherly. 

So . . .if it's unconstitutional to cause psychological discomfort, 
we can't have segregated-by-intelligence schools; they'll make 
some people extremely unhappy. 

And if segregation-by student-ability turns out— as we have 
reason to expect— to produce a system in which proportional rep- 
resentation of races does not exist . . . why, we can't have segre- 
gation by ability for that reason either. 

Then, of course, the liberal-do-gooder group just knows every- 
body should be equal, whether they are or not, and they know 
that schools are intended to produce equality, not education 

All in all, practically everybody has motivations for wanting the 
present unsegregated school system to continue in American edu- 

The problem the United States faces is very simple: We have 
developed the highest standard of living the world has ever 
known, by developing the potentials of technology— of applied 

But this process has certain penalties; it is, in a very real 
sense, a specialization in the evolutionary sense. Now we have 
developed this technology, we cannot do without it. The popula- 
tion which we are, today, supporting in luxury could not be sup- 
ported, even at a subsistence level, without technology. Those 


wheat surpluses that are troubling the nation aren't due to the 
innate fertility of the soil; they're due to applied agricultural 
science— to biochemistry and genetic science and soil technology. 

The civilization that we in America know today is based on 
and dependent on high-level technology— and that of course 
means high-level technicians. 

Inasmuch as men are not equal, not all boys can be trained to 
be technicians— and it is the sheerest insanity, the sheerest re- 
fusal to face reality, to believe for a moment that all children can 
be so trained. Only those children originally gifted with the re- 
quired potentials can have those potentials developed into the 
needed abilities. 

Now an educational system dedicated to the proposition that 
if all men aren't equal, we re gonna teach 'em to be, can only 
equalize men downward— it has the power of death, but not the 
power of life. The power of Life is reserved to God— and any 
people that mistakes itself for a collective form of Diety is 

Today, despite long and loud campaigns for more young 
scientists, our technical schools are getting fewer applicants than 
they were before— fewer registrants from an increasing popula- 

The medical profession is having serious troubles, too. The 
doctors in most communities now are working fifty hours a week 
routinely, and sixty hours a week commonly— and they do not do 
so because they get paid time and a half for overtime. I men- 
tioned that doctors represent a group of men who are not equal 
before the law; their inequality seems to be resented. Certainly 
the public is making life miserable for them. A doctor is required 
by law to stop and render aid if he passes a highway accident— 
and today they hate to do so, because it quite commonly means a 
malpractice suit. The man the doctor saves by his emergency 
treatment is quite apt to sue for a few hundred thousand dollars; 
you see everybody knows that doctors carry insurance, and you 
can always get somebody to get on the stand and prove that his 
hindsight is better than the sued doctor's foresight, and testify 
that if such and such had been done, maybe the patient wouldn't 
have the scars he has. 


In the Great American Lottery— suing after an accident— it 
pays better to sue the doctor that saved your life than the man 
who nearly killed you; doctors carry bigger insurance policies. 

And besides, them there rich doctors oughta pay fer things; no- 
body's got any business being rich, cause people are equal, ain't 

Medical schools for some reason are having difficulty getting 
enough registrants— even when they rather desperately lower 
their standards for admittance. Anybody who chooses medicine 
as a career today has to be pretty much of a peculiar type; his 
reward for saving lives is malpractice suits. He's required to work 
fifty to sixty hours a week . . . 

Then we have another interesting technological problem. It's 
the problem of interconnections and interactions among com- 
municating units. The telephone people ran into it long ago; 
when you double the number of telephone subscribers, you don't 
just double the number of switching connections required— it 
increases exponentially. The original system was handled by hu- 
man operators; as it became more complex, machine-switching 
became essential. As of now, to handle the telephone switching 
problem in New York City, even if all employable women in the 
service area were employed as operators, the system would be 
unable to function. 

As intercommunication increases, the problem of switching in- 
creases drastically. 

That's happening in the problem of business organization. The 
number of interacting businesses in this country today is so great 
that the number of business executives required is also straining 
the limits of our capacity. But the "switching" involved there is 
decision-making, judgment-application— which is the factor ma- 
chines can't handle. 

It takes human beings of trained potential— men trained to 
think, think accurately and quickly. 

A breakdown in any one of those three areas— science tech- 
nology, medical technology or business technology— will mean 
a collapse that will be most interesting to historians of the future. 

It will be the first time in history that a culture collapsed be- 
cause of the failure of the educational system. 


Never before has a culture been dependent on efficient educa- 
tion, so it has never before been possible. 

It won't be at all interesting to those involved. Old-timers will 
be talking about the good old happy days of the early 1930s, when 
all we had to worry about was a Depression. 

If the Supreme Court finds that the Constitution forbids segre- 
gated schools that make the incompetent unhappy— then it's time 
to start a campaign for a constitutional amendment that holds 
that Truth is never illegal, no matter how painful it may be. 

October 1963 


1 Statistics show that over 98 per cent of all individuals 
born are now dead. 

2 Therefore you're probably dead now. 
Well . . . ? It's perfectly logical isn't it? 


You won't find that term in any dictionary that I know of, nor 
any textbook on psychology, but I think it's a term needed to 
describe one of America's most widespread neurotic tendencies. 
It means "having a neurotic and excessive fondness for the under- 
dog," without having the slightest interest in finding out why he 
is in the infra position. 

For example, let's consider the poor people that great "war 
against poverty" is supposed to help. 

Now I've been looking into the situation of a group of people 
in one area on the fringe of that Appalachia region who have 
some very tough conditions to contend with. Their region is very 
backward, very underdeveloped, and astonishingly underindus- 
trialized. The people in that area aren't able to buy tractors, and 
have to do all their farming— most of them are farmers— entirely 
by their own hard work. They don't even have electric power, 
and hence no electric lights or power-driven equipment. Of 
course that also means no radio or television for relief, during the 
long evenings, from the hard work of tiieir living. Their children 
can't go to the public schools. They don't have automobiles to get 
around in, but travel by horse and buggy. These poor people . . . 

Oh, you know about the Amish people, huh? You've seen their 
beautiful, lush farms, their big, sturdy barns and their spotlessly- 
kept homes? Well, I know they almost universally have good, fat 
bank accounts, but aren't they "poor people" in that they don't 
have the conveniences of modern life? 

Well, what do you mean by "poor people"? Perhaps you mean 
"poor" in the sense of "genetically incompetent, lacking the quali- 
ties of intelligence, ambition, self-respect and determination 
necessary to adequate accomplishment." Certainly the Amish 
aren't "poor people" in that sense; what they have proven a man 
—and this does, of course, mean he has to be a man, not a whim- 


pering bum— can accomplish with his own muscles, using intelli- 
gence, determination, and willingness to work adequately 
demonstrates that they aren't "poor" genetically. 

The next time some victim of hyperinfracaniphilia tells you 
how this, that or the other group or individual "didn't have a 
proper chance/' it may be appropriate to compare the situation 
of the named group or individual with the standard Pennsyl- 
vania Dutch situation. What would have happened to an Amish 
family dropped into the situation? Would they be living in a 
leaky shack, in ragged clothes, unwashed, ill-fed, and penniless? 

Take a run through the areas full of those "poor people," look 
at the tumbling shacks, slovenly men and women, the TV anten- 
nas decorating every ill-patched roof, the fairly late-model auto- 
mobile standing in the ruts across the grassless lawn— and not so 
much as a well-tended vegetable garden in the empty acres of 
land. They've got electricity, TV, a car . . . and are ill-clothed, 
ill-fed, and ill-housed in an area where there's acres of unused 

Oh, it's poor land, that won't raise good crops? 

You can't teach those people anything useful, so it would be 
useless to import some Scottish farmers, men accustomed to farm- 
ing barren, treeless hillsides, with soil leached of practically all 
plant nutrient by the nearly ceaseless rains, with a growing season 
shortened by the fact that they're as far north as Hudson's Bay— 
and men not accustomed to whining about their hard lot. 

You won't see any sheep on the hillsides in Appalachia, either, 
nor appropriate breeds of cattle. Sheep yield wool as well as meat, 
which, with a bit of effort, can be turned into excellent clothing— 
without the need for a major industrial complex. Ask your near- 
est librarian. 

There is a great deal of talk, too, about the selfishness of the 
better-off people, and the hyperinfracaniphilia type insists that 
we should help these poor people. 

It is certainly true that those poor people are completely un- 
selfish. No one can accuse them of having done anything for them- 
selves, and isn't it held that the mark of selfishness is that you do 
things for your own interest? 

How can you help people who are so unselfish that they practi- 


cally never do anything for themselves? Of course you can re- 
build their shacks, make new clothes for them, and guarantee 
them a life-time supply of quick-frozen TV dinners . . . but the 
new clothes are no better than the old. They don't keep them- 
selves clean, repair their own careless rips and burns, or adjust 
size to match growing children. The new houses aren't a bit bet- 
ter than the old; their windows break, and the wind lifts shingles 
just the same, and the poor people living in them know they've 
been cheated. 

The great advantage of nudity is that the animal or human 
skin is self-repairing— and arranged to encourage the wearer to 
avoid carelessness in the matter of rips and burns— reasonably 
self-cleaning, and self-adjusting to the changes in the wearer's 
size and/or shape. 

The advantage of free forest living is that trees— although they 
do constitute a somewhat leaky roof— are self-replacing, self- 
repairing, and if one falls down, there are always others you can 
move under. There's no work involved. 

These completely unselfish poor people, however, are not really 
interested in forest living, because of the lack of adequate TV 
entertainment, and the unsatisfactory food supply. 

It is not a matter of poor education, either. Let's get that non- 
sense out of the way. Abraham Lincoln had a darned sight less in 
the way of economic, social, or educational opportunities than 
the poor people of Appalachia have. And, moreover, millionaire 
scions graduating from Harvard turn out to be just as totally 
unselfish— they won't do a thing for themselves— as the worst of 
Appalachia's people. 

The best way to express the problem, I think, is to recognize 
that no matter how you heat-treat or work a piece of cast iron, 
you're not going to make a usable spring out of it. There are, 
however, a wide variety of steel alloys which, given different, 
but appropriate heat and work treatments, will yield springs. And 
there are alloys which make highly effective springs in a straight 
as-cast condition. In analogy, you can't educate a piece of cast 
iron— and there are some alloys that don't need to be educated; 
they have the wanted characteristics built in. Plenty of individuals 


have proven resoundingly that a man who has that education- 
absorption characteristic gets his education even if it's clearly 
impossible. The Negroes who complain so bitterly about poor 
educational opportunities, for instance, should consider George 
Washington Carver's life a bit more carefully; he, like Abraham 
Lincoln, saw to it he got an education, despite the near- 
impossibility of the conditions he faced. These were selfish men 
indeed; they worked hard doing something for themselves, in- 
stead of whimpering to have others do it for them. 

Michael Faraday did it in science. How about "Joseph Conrad," 
an essentially uneducated Polish seaman who decided to write in 
a language— English— other than his native tongue because his 
works would have a wider market. 

Certainly there will always be a great majority of individuals 
who don't have that tremendous level of built-in drive and deter- 
mination—people who can, with adequate educational oppor- 
tunity become useful, self-supporting and self-respecting citizens 
who, without that external help, would gravitate to the "unselfish" 
category of those who don't do things for themselves. The alloys 
that make powerful and highly elastic springs in the as-cast con- 
dition are few, highly expensive, and seldom used, too; practically 
all springs are the result of starting with a good, workable alloy, 
and applying heat and work treatments— educating an educable 

But to hold that all alloys are educable to the same degree is 
absolute nonsense. What school was it that turned out Einstein? 
Did they operate that school only once, for one individual, for 
some reason? 

Now one of the most important aspects of education for the 
low-grade student is convincing him that he damned well better 
learn as much as he himself is able to— because if he doesn't work 
at it, he's going to pay for his laziness in future misery and dis- 

The hyperinfracaniphiliac however, is busy assuring the infe- 
rior human alloy individuals that they should, indeed, be unselfish 
—and let other people support them. They are repeatedly assured 
that they don't have to exert any extra effort, because they will be 


assured equal rewards in our society, even if they don't work. 

Why shouldn't the "drop-out" drop out? Go ahead, sucker- 
work and get all that education, and get a job. So what does it 
get you, huh? The drop-out gets welfare, relief, unemployment 
payments, et cetera, and antipoverty supplies, and has three hun- 
dred sixty-five holidays a year, and a lot more orators defending 
him, discussing his good, unselfish attitude than you have defend- 
ing yours! 

What pressure is there to make the lower end of the ability 
scale even try to develop himself? He could, with some real effort, 
achieve considerable development of his limited potentials, and 
achieve self-respect— by being selfish, and doing something for 
himself. Instead, encouraged by all those hyperinfracaniphiliacs, 
he relaxes, stops making even minimal efforts, and achieves self- 
respect by listening to the TV orators explaining how he's just as 
good as anyone else because he's human, and he has just as much 
rights because he's a citizen— he got bom here, which, fortunately, 
takes no effort whatever on his part. 

Why should this individual of low inherent ability try to make 
the most of his limited potentials? 

You, poor sucker, were born not only with potentials, but with 
a drive to use them. ( Or you wouldn't have achieved an educa- 
tional level that makes this magazine interesting to you.) You're 
stuck with being selfish, and working for your own development. 
He isn't— so why should he, since he will be honored, respected, 
and fed without working? 

The hyperinfracaniphiliacs are establishing a situation with the 
interesting characteristic that those individuals born with rela- 
tively low potentials are strongly encouraged to not develop what 
talents they have! If he doesn't try at all, he can't fail— and he 
will retain self-respect because he is assured that he is Human 
and a Citizen and An Underprivileged Man to whom The Society 
Owes Something. 

He doesn't try, therefore doesn't fail; if he did make a real 
effort, and fully recognized that his abilities were limited, he 
wouldn't have the comforting self-respect of accepting that he is, 
really, Just As Good As Any Other Man. He couldn't feel so 


wholeheartedly that he was an Oppressed Victim of Society and 
that his poverty was not his own fault. 

Poverty doesn't make poor people; poor people make poverty. 
The test is quite simple; consider what has happened when a 
different type, or group of people has been put in a precisely 
similar circumstance. 

It isn't slums that make slum-dwellers; slum-dwellers are a type 
of people who, when they move into an area, make slums. 

You can not solve that problem by giving poor people goods 
and money; they'll make poverty of it. You can't end slums by 
moving the slum-dwellers into new, clean, well-built housing— 
but you can end the slum by moving non-slum-dwellers into the 
dirty, rat-and-louse infested, run-down buildings of the slum. Rat 
traps are cheap; DDT is readily available, soap, water, scrub 
brushes, paint and paint brushes are readily come by. Most 
slum areas have heavy unemployment; how come all those un- 
employed people can see nothing to do in their dirty, dilapidated 
and unpainted slum homes? How come they keep complaining 
about it so loudly, and demanding that somebody should fix it for 

Because they're so unselfish, of course. 

February 1965 


Life magazine, a few months ago, announced a startling break- 
through discovery in psychology made at a California research 
clinic. Some psychologists there had come up with the amazing 
discovery that punishment— hurting a child deliberately, for cause 
—actually helps children to grow into sounder personalities. 

This startling discovery comes a little late, however. It seems to 
have been anticipated some hundreds of millions of years ago, 
when mammals first developed from the reptilian predecessors. 

The psychological doctrine of "Mustn't punish a child; it might 
hurt his precious little ego" derives strictly from the reptilian 
division of die animal kingdom. They never punish their young. 
They're apt to eat them, of course, if they encounter them— but 
there's nothing of intent to hurt; it's simple hunger that motivates 

The greatest of the mammalian inventions was not live birth- 
some of the earliest sharks gave birth to live young. The mammals 
invented reward and punishment for their young— guidance. 
Punishment was the great mammalian invention— a substitute for 
being eaten alive when the individual made a mistake. 

Of course, the Freudian notion that "sex is the only instinct" 
explains the young animal's tendency to seek the mother on the 
basis of an Oedipus Complex, overlooking the fact that young 
mammals are thermotropic and hungry and could— just possibly 
—have certain other instinctual drives. 

After some 150 megayears, it's reasonable to suppose that 
young mammals have a built-in expectation of being guided by 
punishment and reward— and that failure to offer that guidance 
introduces stresses into the young mammal. Certainly failure to 
give reward— affection and attention— is known to have a literally 
lethal effect on human babies. It's been proven that babies given 
every objective necessity of life— food, warmth, cleanliness, ex- 
cellent medical care— have a near one hundred per cent death 


rate if they get only the objective necessities. But a baby born in 
a cold drizzle, deprived of shelter, under-nourished by a half- 
starved mother, survives and grows— if that half-starved mother 
strives to care for it and keep it. 

Isn't it reasonable to assume that if one half of the ancient in- 
stinctual pattern is necessary, the other might be, too? The worst 
kind of lie is a half-truth; if you are entering a strange environ- 
ment, and I tell you only what you should do, and omit all warn- 
ings of danger, things you should not do, I could arrange very 
neatly to have you kill yourself. 

The psychological dictum of "Punishment is bad; it is mere de- 
sire for vengeance," has, of course, seeped over into the sociology 
of our times. The trite and stupid argument that punishing a 
criminal does no good, because it's mere vengeance, and capital 
punishment is useless because, after all, it has never stopped 
murder, takes off happily from that psychological crackpotism. 
The argument that punishment doesn't stop crime is equivalent 
to saying: "We shouldn't try to stop drunken driving, because 
even when we have laws against it, drunks still drive." 

It spreads and digs in deeper, and comes up with the wonder- 
ful idea that the young criminal shouldn't be clouted for his van- 
dalism; he should be gently scolded, and encouraged to do better. 

There's the old saying that: "Power corrupts; absolute power 
corrupts absolutely." It's a false statement. Power has almost no 
correlation with corruption— they're completely independent var- 
iables. If it were true, then it would necessarily follow that God 
Almighty was the ultimate in corruption. 

The true statement is "Immunity corrupts; absolute immunity 
corrupts absolutely." 

The current clamor about "police brutality" stems from the 
basic idea that individuals should be free of punishment— i.e., 
that criminals should be immune. 

The automatic consequence of that increasing degree of im- 
munity is the observed increasing corruption, the increasing van- 
dalism of JDs, which recently expressed itself in several hundred 
million dollar damages in Los Angeles. The City of the Angels 
turned up with some red-hot demons on the loose. 

It's worth noting that the total amount of property damage the 


Los Angeles vandals did to that city probably exceeded the total 
of property destruction the Vandals did to the city of Rome when 
they sacked it. 

The "brutal" actions of police consist of punishing criminal be- 

We have problems— very serious and pressing problems— con- 
cerned with social relationships in our culture. And you do not 
solve problems by denying that they can possibly really exist, or 
by denying that their actual cause could possibly be the cause. If 
your car stalls because the ignition wire is broken, filling the gas 
tank won't restart it. Cleaning the carburetor won't get it going. 
Putting in a new battery doesn't help. You'll eventually have to 
repair the ignition wire, one way or another. You might kid your- 
self the wire wasn't really at fault by installing a whole new 
ignition system— but one way or another you're going to fix that 
wire before it runs again. 

The immensely destructive riots in Los Angeles, Chicago, and 
other cities were not, at the start, primarily racial— they were 
mainly the young barbarians against the "police brutality" of 
authority that refused to grant them the absolute immunity they 

Once started, it snowballed, and the older barbarians joined in 
happily. The true Vandal spirit was manifested in their delight in 
setting fires that burned out whole blocks of property. They were 
revolting in search of "freedom now" in one sense— freedom to 
do what they damned well pleased, with no punishment threats, 
with total immunity. 

Ninety per cent of the Thoughtless Liberals' excuses for the JD, 
and for the arrogant defiance of law by many of the Negro "Civil 
Rights" groups, has been based on arguments about how terrible 
it is to grow up in a ghetto— that such crowding and dirty condi- 
tions inescapably breed crime. That it isn't the fault, or the re- 
sponsibility of the colored people, but the natural consequence 
of such conditions. 

That, my friends, is absolutely one hundred per cent obvious 
nonsense. It is totally wrong, and strictly propaganda guff. 

The simplest evidence is directly available in almost all of our 


great cities. It isn't a matter of how terrible it is to be physically 
marked by skin-color, either. 

Take a look at the other "ghetto" of colored people you'll find 
in almost every major U.S. city. A ghetto densely populated by 
colored people who didn't have a Chinaman's chance, after they 
were imported to this country for heavy labor at starvation wages, 
for domestic servants, and the like. People marked by differently 
shaped features and by skin color, demeaned and rejected, 
crowded now into city ghettos. 

No Civil Rights movements have sought to better their lot. 
Their schools have not been integrated— and until pretty recently, 
the White culture didn't offer their children much schooling 

But the Chinese sections of our large cities, just as densely 
crowded as the Negro sections, will never be confused with them. 
In New York City, for instance, Chinatown doesn't remotely re- 
semble Harlem. It's one of the cleanest sections of the city— and 
it has the lowest crime rate of any section. The crime rate there is 
lower than it is for the fancy Park Avenue apartment district. 
And it's clean and crime-free not through the special efforts of the 
City; the colored people who live there see to it. 

I have heard of no complaints whatever concerning "police bru- 
tality" coming from Chinese. ( They discipline their own children, 
and don't wait for the police to try to do it for them. ) 

It is absolute nonsense to say that a ghetto automatically pro- 
duces dirt and criminals. The Chinese prove that that's a false 

There's been a lot of talk about civilian review boards to check 
on "police brutality." I have a suggestion. Since the accusations of 
brutality come to such a large extent from the Negroes, and are 
directed against White police, let's have a board dominated by 
racially neutral arbiters— Chinese. I have a strong feeling that 
the complainants would howl in dismay at the idea; the Chinese 
have the lowest crime rate in the city, which means a solidly 
established respect for law, order, and discipline— for nonimmu- 
nity. They do not hold that punishment is "mere vengeance," and 
practice the alternative proposition, that punishment is necessary 
to guidance. 


Another standard proposition about ghettos is that they automat- 
ically discourage individuals living in them from seeking or even 
accepting education. 

The term "ghetto" originated with the Jewish districts in Euro- 
pean cities. These sections were, therefore, characterized by high 
crime rates, excessive juvenile delinquency, and general rejec- 
tion of education? 

The number of Chinese who have somehow managed to be- 
come major scientists— despite the claimed impossibility of 
achievement starting in a ghetto, with a colored skin— is worthy 
of note. 

The extent to which men from the Jewish ghettos somehow 
overcame that "impossible" problem of education to become a 
major force in every intellectual field of endeavor suggests that it 
isn't ghetto-living that prevents achievement. 

And integrated schools obviously aren't necessary for achieve- 
ment, either; the Jews were, for centuries, denied entry to nearly 
all the great schools of Europe— and yet somehow managed to 
turn out great intellectual leaders for all those centuries. 

If you insist on blaming the carburetor for the failure of the car 
to start, when it's the ignition wire— you can not solve the 

If you insist that it's segregation and ghettos that cause the 
problem the Negro faces— you can not solve that problem. 

Because that's not where the problem lies. 

It's not skin color; the Chinese had that problem, and their 
young people are decent, law-abiding, self-disciplined youngsters 
who are well-educated and are achieving in many fields. 

It's not ghettos and segregated schools. The Jews proved that 
didn't matter, centuries ago. 

It's not that a history of being rejected and demeaned leaves a 
stamp that can't be overcome. The Irish, Jews and Chinese all 
encountered the problem. So did the Italians. So did practically 
every ethnic group that moved into this continent. (Including 
the original Scotch-English settlers, who were very lethally re- 
jected by the then-dominant majority.) 

The problem seems to lie in this question: What's the difference 
between "punishment" and "torture"? 


Unfortunately, that problem lies in the subjective, not the ob- 
jective, realm. Each involves the objective fact of pain deliber- 
ately inflicted. But whether that pain reacts on the individual 
personality as "punishment" or "torture" depends entirely on the 
recipient's interpretation. A flogging rates as "torture" to the in- 
dividual who cannot accept that he did anything wrong— and as 
"punishment" to an individual who recognizes his own choice 
and actions earned what he's getting. 

If an individual holds "This is cruel and vicious vengeance this 
enemy is inflicting on me," he will undergo torture, and seek to 
avenge it in turn. 

Another individual, with a different orientation, in the same 
situation may hold, "Well, they caught me at it, dammit. I knew 
they might— so I get a flogging." This doesn't mean that he agrees 
with his punishers— but that he acknowledges that they are pun- 
ishing, not torturing, him. That doesn't keep him from continuing 
to be a rebel— but it does mean that he doesn't see himself as the 
victim of cruel and vengeful and wicked foes. He doesn't pity 

Now an individual oriented to the idea that punishment is always 
evil and is always mere vengeance— cannot be punished. He can 
only be tortured. To him, the police using force to restrain his 
vandalism are "brutally" interfering with his Natural Right To Im- 
munity—they are torturing him by frustrating his desire to see 
that building go up in flames, to loot that liquor store, to smash 
the windows and grab those radio and TV sets. To him, any 
force used to restrain his unlimited freedom to do what he wants 
is torture and brutality. 

Because— face it!— any discipline is painful. There are three 
kinds of discipline: Universe Discipline, Other People Discipline, 
and Self -discipline. But they're all painful. Stick your finger in 
boiling water, and you get Universe Discipline. A child who's 
slapped away from sticking his finger in a live electric socket is 
getting Other People Discipline. When he gets older, he'll keep 
his own fingers out of the high- voltage wiring— Self-discipline. But 
each kind is painful, for each is an imposed frustration of a desire, 
which is psychological or emotional pain. 


The police have as their function the imposition of discipline on 
those who lack self-discipline. They rescue children whove fallen 
in the pond, or got stuck in pipes, or ran into the street and got 
hit by cars. They arrest burglars, rapists, and murderers. Their 
business is to supply the Other People Discipline required by 
those who lack Self-discipline. 

To one who denies that discipline should exist, this is torture. 
It's deliberately inflicted pain— emotional pain of frustration at 
the very least. Therefore, the police are clearly being brutal; their 
brutality is inherent in the fact of their deliberately frustrating 
the non-self -disciplined individual's desires. 

All of which orientation stems from that lovely piece of crack- 
pottery the psychologists introduced: "Punishment is always bad; 
it's mere desire for vengeance, and harmful to the child's ego." 

The Chinese have a five-thousand-year old traditon of disci- 
pline. So do the Jews. They could, and did, live sanely and peace- 
fully in the ghettos, in the close-packed living where every in- 
dividual is constantly rubbing against every other. 

The Irish, when they first came over here, didn't have that 
tradition. The Irish created America's first slums, and a reputa- 
tion for being a brawling, undependable, dirty, ignorant people. 
It took them a couple of generations, but they started by disci- 
plining each other, and wound up learning how to live as am- 
bitious, but self-disciplined people. 

The Chinese have, also, an ancient tradition of "Face"— of the 
importance of reputation. The Chinese felt strongly that the be- 
havior of any Chinese was a reflection on the reputation— on the 
Face— of all Chinese. ( Madison Avenue's taken over the idea and 
calls it "Image.") Wherefore, every Chinese felt that the behavior 
and earned reputation of every other Chinese was his personal 
and direct concern. If one Chinese were a crook, a criminal, 
slovenly and lazy— why, it impaired the "Face" of other Chinese, 
by indicating that Chinese were such undesirables. If one Chinese 
were a cheat— it impaired the reputation, the Face, of other 
Chinese. Wherefore the other Chinese took steps to see that the 
cheat stopped damaging their Face. 

Today, a New York businessman knows he can trust a Chinese 
businessman to meet his debts, and to deal honestly. If, for some 


reason, the Chinese does not meet his debts, one of the Chinese 
Societies will pay them in full for him. The Chinese Society will 
then deal with the defaulter. The reputation of the Chinese has 
been protected— and if the reason for default was an honest one, 
the defaulter will be aided in re-establishing himself. If he de- 
faulted by reason of cheating, measures will be taken so that he 
does not have any desire whatever to repeat. 

The brawling, slovenly, shiftless Irish were disciplined in a basi- 
cally similar manner by their fellow Irish who, like the Chinese, 
felt that what any Irishman did was a reflection on all Irish. 

Botii the Chinese idea of Face, and the Irishman's feeling that 
he himself would be judged by the behavior of every other Irish- 
man, rest on an absolutely one hundred per cent valid mechanism. 

The simplest way to express it is in terms of what I call the 
"Elsa mechanism," in honor of Elsa, the Lioness. Many of you 
have, I'm sure, read the two delightful books about "Elsa'— "Born 
Free" and "Living Free," the biography of a wild African lioness 
who was raised from orphaned cubhood by a pair of white Afri- 
can game wardens. Elsa, as a full-grown lioness, was friendly, 
gentle, trustworthy, and fully co-operative with human beings. 
She was playful, but careful to recognize her own strength and 
weight. If you read those books, you'll learn how warmly affec- 
tionate and genuinely friendly an African lioness can be. 

So the next time you're walking across the African veldt, and 
see a full-grown lioness come bounding toward you— what will 
you do? 

Unless you're insane, you'll raise your rifle and do your best to 
drop the three hundred pound beast before she reaches you. 

Of course, if it happened to be Elsa, happily bounding toward 
you in friendly greeting, that would be a cruel injustice. 

It would be a case of an individual suffering gross injustice be- 
cause of the reputation— well earned!— of the statistical group, 
Adult Lionesses, of which she was a member. 

In other words, the necessity of real-world statistics will force 
any sane individual to react to the most probable situation— and 
the most probable situation is that a powerful carnivore is attack- 
ing with motivation of converting you to manburgers. 


Statistically speaking, the Negroes lack self-discipline. Sup- 
pressing the publication of crime statistics does not change those 
statistics. The fact that some individuals are brilliant, highly ethi- 
cal, thoroughly self-disciplined gentlemen in the finest sense of 
the word— does not negate the validity of the Elsa Mechanism. 
Those individuals will suffer gross injustice— because of the repu- 
tation their group has earned. 

That injustice to individuals will, moreover, continue indefi- 
nitely, no matter what laws may be passed. Prohibition had a 
better chance of stopping the consumption of alcohol than a law 
has of stopping the statistically based reactions of human indi- 

When lack of self-discipline— revolt against any and all disci- 
pline—explodes into a vandal group sacking a major city, the loss 
of Face involved can not be repaired by passing a new law saying 
we shouldn't notice it. 

If the National Association for the Advancement of Colored 
People wants to truly advance the Negroes— they might learn 
from an older, wiser people, and study the Chinese methods. Or 
the younger and more ebullient Irish, who solved the same prob- 
lem, in the same basic way. 

The Negro must discipline the Negro. So long as the Negro 
leaves the problems of discipline up to the Whites, the Negro 
will not be self-disciplined, and will feel that he is a victim of 
Other People Discipline, and Other People Frustration. He'll feel 
that, because he truly will be— forever and ever, world without 
end, until he himself takes over the job. 

The Chinese and the Irish were right; what any member of a 
group does, does reflect on every other member, whether that 
other member likes it or not. 

If a White group imposes discipline, the disciplined individual 
will inevitably have a strong tendency to feel that the aliens are 
imposing cruel torture. If a Negro society imposes discipline, it 
will come far closer to being accepted as punishment and guid- 

The deep and simple basic of the problem is—the Whites can 
not solve this problem, no matter what they do. Because anything 
they do is necessarily wrong. 


Only the Negro himself can solve it— because it must be solved 
by seZ/-discipline, and seZ/-respect, and self-help. 

The ones who suffer the greatest injustice now are those fine 
individual Negro men and women who, because of that Elsa 
Mechanism, are denied the acceptance their individual person- 
alities merit. It's tough— but it is just as inevitable and inescap- 
able as any other law of statistics. The individual Negro who can't 
stand the slovenly, violent, thieving ways of his Negro neighbors 
naturally wants to move to a better disciplined neighborhood. 

But . . . the individuals in the better-disciplined neighborhood 
are inescapably going to react to the Elsa Mechanism, and 
identify him with the Negro neighbors that he himself wants to 

In seeking to move away from their neighborhood, he is try- 
ing to do what he so condemns— relegating his undesirable neigh- 
bors to a ghetto, geographically removed from himself. 

Man-made legislation, seeking to contravene a law of Nature, 
can at the veiy best be futile. The Elsa Mechanism is based on 
the laws of statistics. Trying to change it by passing laws is about 
equivalent to decreeing that, henceforth, the value of it shall be 
3.0000. . . . 

Maybe somewhere . . . but not in this Universe! 

December 1965 



It was van Vogt's story "Storm" that started me thinking on the 
problem; this item would have appeared last month had it not 
been that the announcement of this new size became necessary. 
The problem is simple in statement— the governmental set-up for 
maintaining peace and order in a galactic empire. 

At present, all theories of how planets are formed are lying in 
ruins. ( It's interesting that, even before the discovery of the extra- 
solar planets, the various stellar-collision theories had been math- 
ematically proven wrong; 61 Cygni C simply confirmed the fact. ) 
We haven't any idea how planets come about, but every star 
which we have been able to observe minutely enough to make 
the detection of a planet possible has shown planets. I think it's 
fair to set up an hypothesis on the basis that all stars have planets; 
many stars have habitable worlds. Four hundred million planets 
capable of supporting human life, within this galaxy, is not 
stretching possibilities anywhere near the limits. 

Then, given a fast interstellar drive, and, say five thousand 
years of time, what sort of human population might the galaxy 
develop? When it comes to population increase, rabbits and 
guinea pigs have a reputation as experts; the reputation is some- 
what undeserved— they simply have short generations. Man can 
do a very fine job of increasing the population when conditions 
warrant it, and there's some time allowed. 

This planet, under present conditions, has a population of 
about two billions. With improved methods of producing food— 
you've perhaps noticed that item about making a meat-flavored, 
meatlike food from yeast, ammonia and sugar?— it could support 
some fifty billions without discomfort. Since a planet habitable 
for human kind will, of necessity, be Eardilike, an average popu- 
lation per planet of one billion would be conservative. 

That gives the tidy total of four hundred million billion people. 
Like the number of light-waves in a mile, the number doesn't 


have much emotional meaning— it remains a "4," which we can 
understand, followed by a string of zeros which quickly cease to 
mean anything real or understandable. 

But this part of it does become understandable. Such an empire 
would have to have a home-rule governmental system, with local 
area governments in each city, up through continent govern- 
ments, world governments, and system governments. Van Vogt 
suggested in "Storm" that some central government would be 
essential to keep individual planets, systems, sectors, and quad- 
rants from warring amongst themselves. It seems reasonable. 
Let's see what sort of affair that would be. 

I don't believe that the United States Federal government could 
be operated effectively by one hundred thirty men— including 
the whole set-up from President down through and including the 
Army, Navy and Post Office clerks. One civil servant per million 
people is impossibly small, percentagewise, to be effective. That's 
a figure that must be expanded. 

But our galactic empire government must, then, have more 
than that microscopic percentage of one-in-a-million, must have 
more than an impossibly scant four hundred billion Federal em- 

Perhaps, if Earth were made one solidly built-up capital city- 
world, supported by the microscopic taxes collected from the in- 
dividuals of the empire, by the goods shipped in from other, 
producing worlds, this one planet could serve as the empire's 
governing world. Otherwise, it would take some two hundred 
planets to support the government's functionaries. 

Incidentally, a congress made up of representatives each of 
whom represented a billion individuals would be a more popu- 
lous affair than the North American continent now is— twice over! 
To have a representative body of manageable size, each legislator 
would have to represent some million billion people. 

The one-in-a-milhon figure of governmental employees is cer- 
tainly too small; there will be some compromise figure between 
our present-day over-high percentage of government workers- 
after all, the problem of governing populations of more than one 
hundred million people democratically is less than fifty years old 
—and that too-small figure. 


The availability of really fast communications will aid a lot too. 
As long as human nature remains roughly comparable to what it 
is today, a face-to-face, person-to-person conference will continue 
to be more solidly, definitely effective— and it takes time to go 
from point to point. Since most governmental conferring is within 
the capitol, fast communications— say van Vogt's trick walls- 
would help fewer people to accomplish more. But all this deals 
only with the central government. How many people would be 
engaged in all governmental work in an empire of 400,000,000,- 
000,000,000 people, including town, city, county, district, conti- 
nent, world, stellar-system, sector, quadrant and galactic govern- 

Galactic empire has been glibly considered fairly frequently in 
science-fiction. But— has anyone any workable suggestions for a 
galactic government? 

November 1943 


The American Chemical Society is holding its Seventy-fifth Anni- 
versary Meeting in New York this September, beginning Labor 
Day. Those seventy-five years in review are more than mildly 
impressive; the 1876 model chemical science was basically some- 
thing that Priestly and Lavoisier could have understood readily. 
But a modern technical session, with discussion of angstrom unit 
spacings between atoms, the molecular resonances, and the in- 
tricacies of enzyme and catalytic action would be a totally foreign 

Foreign as the modern material would be to those old fathers 
of the science, the discussions planned on the impact of science- 
chemistry in particular— on civilization would be just as foreign to 
the chemists of seventy-five years ago. 

In 1876, the primary effort of chemistry was to eoCtract from 
Nature the desired materials. The background assumption of 
chemistry at that time— a basic philosophy so deeply assumed 
that it was not expressed, did not need to be stated— was the prop- 
osition that chemistry's business was to find in Nature, and ex- 
tract in purified form, the materials needed, the ready-made 
molecules that industry required. Rubber from trees, metals from 
ores, drugs from plants. 

The emphasis has changed vastly in that three-quarters of a 
century— less than one lifetime. The natural products, today, are 
extracted, and studied— usually, however, on a microchemical 
basis. A one-tenth milligram sample is adequate for many re- 
searches. Once the natural substance has been isolated and stud- 
ied, the effort, instead of concentrating on improved methods of 
extraction, is directed toward synthesis, and towards synthesis of a 
more desirable similar material. Nature has a certain slight edge 
on chemical industry in producing useful materials— living things 
have had some 2,000,000,000 years to experiment. But it still 
seems highly improbable that the material 2,000,000,000 years of 


living-experimenting on the part of the hevea tree and its ances- 
tral forms developed for wound-healing is necessarily the best 
of all possible materials for automobile tires. 

The sheep developed, through hundreds of millions of years, 
a fibrous material, wool, as an effective clothing material. But it 
seems somewhat improbable that it can be the best possible ma- 
terial for Man's needs. For one thing, the sheep has a perfect 
solution to the problem of wool shrinkage; just don't wash it, and 
keep it well oiled with lanolin to protect it against rain. That 
works just fine— and of course a sheep doesn't mind smelling like 
a wet sheep. 

So much of modern chemistry's effort has been directed at tak- 
ing atoms rather than molecules from natural sources, or taking 
molecular fragments from natural sources, and recombining them 
to totally new synthetics designed specifically for Man's uses. No 
animal or plant form ever attempted to handle the problem of 
containing one hundred per cent H2SO4; it is reasonable to sup- 
pose, therefore, that a synthetic, rather than a natural product 
would be needed for the job. 

No living metabolism here on Earth is able to handle the ex- 
ceedingly stable carbon-fluorine bond in any but the most tenta- 
tive fashion; organic compounds containing fluorine are, as a con- 
sequence, practically unknown. But chemical industry, with the 
high-energy processes available to technical machinery, can han- 
dle even such powerful bonds— and produce materials like teflon 
which are totally immune to corrosion. 

The past seventy-five years has been a period of change from 
the business of extraction-from-Nature to the business of synthe- 
sizing totally new chemical systems— compounds like polystyrene 
plastic do not exist in Nature, yet polystyrene has become one of 
the cheapest, most widely used, and most satisfactory product- 
materials. Everything from delicate electronic parts— polystyrene 
is one of the world's best insulating materials— to cookie jars- 
polystyrene is cheap, easily molded, attractive in appearance, 
relatively rugged, and easily cleaned— are being made from it. 

But the next three-quarters of a century . . . ? What will be 
the direction of development? 

My private guesstimate: 


The beginnings of the new developments are, I think, now in 
sight. Polystyrene-like materials, required in ton-lots, basically 
simple, repetitive molecule structures, are ideal for machine pro- 
duction, for purely mechanical synthesis. But the swing away 
from Nature can go too far— and I suspect it has. 

Ecology is the study of the economy of living things; the in- 
terrelationships and interdependencies of life forms. All living 
things constitute a planetary organism, in a sense. Man sprang 
from the living forms of Earth; he is still a part of the system. In 
the development of organisms, living cells learned to specialize, 
to take on special functions, producing substances not intended 
for their own use, but for the use of the rest of the organism— the 
adrenal gland, the Islets of Langerhans, the bone marrow that 
produces cells that live only to produce needed corpses, the red 
blood cells. 

Penicillin is produced by a certain type of mold— but penicillin 
today is produced by a specially mutated strain that is being 
fitted into the ecology of Man; the mold is a successful mutation 
because, in the presence of Man's industry, that is a survival 
characteristic. The modern cow is a similar evolutionary freak; 
the dairy cow's characteristics are survival characteristics only 
in the presence of Man. The modern strains of beef cattle, like 
red blood cells, live only to produce useful corpses. The modern 
strains of apple trees are similar examples; their gigantic seed 
pods produce seeds that are never planted, and never grow; the 
type is propagated by grafting. 
.- The overall evolutionary mechanism is that Man is creating a 
l Cr ° i V^netary organism in which animal forms and plant forms co- 
iKfi/if operate in mutual survival, instead of individual survival. The 
f liver cells of an animal are incapable of surviving alone, as their 
remote, ancestral forms did. Man is in process of creating a world- 
organism of life forms that are similarly incapable of independent 

And the chemist is playing a major role in that slow organiza- 
tion; DDT, 2-4-D, many of the sprays and medications that have 
been synthesized and extracted are playing a role in building 
that interdependency. 

The next step, however, is for the chemist, in his role of bio- 



chemist, to start consciously evolving strains of living things to 
produce the complex compounds he wants. It is easier to produce 
complex organic molecules that are not simple repetitive patterns, 
like the synthetic polymers, by biological processes. It is also a 
fairly simple problem— in its basic theory— to develop, by forced 
evolution, a biological mechanism that produces the desired sub- 

In the past seventy-five years, we have learned techniques for 
producing what we want synthetically; it seems to me that the 
next step is to produce the living organism that produces what 
we want. 

That's a legitimate activity for a life form, too! 

September 1951 


It has been more or less assumed that when Man gets going well 
enough in spaceflight technology, the planets will be opened for 
development— that the future pioneers, future investment oppor- 
tunities, will be in the development of Mars, Venus, the Moon, 
and, later, planets of other stars. 

Maybe, eventually, those developments will come. But ... it 
looks to me, now, as though we've neglected a major bet. 

I think the first major development of industry based on space 
technology will not be on another planet— but in space itself. I 
believe that the first major use of space technology will be the 
development of a huge heavy-industry complex floating perma- 
nently in space, somewhere between Mars and the asteroid belt. 

In the first place, we're never going to get any engineering use 
of space until we get something enormously better than rockets. 
(And every indication now is that we already have something 
that means rockets never will be used for any major space work. 
Tests so far made confirm that the gadget described in the 
December editorial does in fact break Newton's laws of motion; it 
provides thrust without counterthrust. ) 

We can, therefore, drop rockets from consideration; they're 
inherently hopeless as an industrial tool. They're enormously less 
efficient as transportation than is a helicopter— and nobody ex- 
pects to use helicopters as the backbone of a major industrial 
transportation system. 

So any engineering development of space implies a non-rocket 
space-drive. Something that can lift and haul tons with the practi- 
cal economic efficiency of a heavy truck, at least. Even nuclear 
rockets couldn't do that; the reaction-mass problem requires that 
even a nuclear rocket start with a gargantuan load of mass solely 
intended to be discarded en route. 

So: assume some form of true space-drive. A modified sky- 
hook or an antigravity gadget— anything. It's a space-truck— not a 


delicate and hyper-expensive rocket. It can carry tons, and work 
for years. 

Now; do we develop Mars and/or Venus? 

Why should we? 

The thing human beings use and need most are metals, en- 
ergy, and food. It's a dead-certain bet that no Terrestrial food 
plant will grow economically on either Mars or Venus . . . except 
in closed-environment systems. Metals on those planets might be 
available in quantities; let's assume that Mars is red because it's 
a solid chunk of native iron that's rusted on the surface to a depth 
of six inches. 

Who wants it? Why haul iron out of Mars' gravity field . . . 
when it's floating free in the asteroid belts? If we're going to have 
to grow our food in a closed-environment system any time we 
get off Earth . . . why not do it where null-gravity makes build- 
ing the closed environment cheap, quick, and easy? 

And while Terran life forms may not do well on those planets 
. . . the local life forms might do very well indeed living on us. 
Why bother fighting them off? In a space-city, there would be 
only those things which we selected for inclusion. 

And energy? 

Heavy industry has always developed where three things were 
available; cheap raw materials, easy access to markets, and 
cheap energy supplies. In pre-industrial times, that cheap 
energy supply naturally meant cheap fuel for muscles, whether 
animal or human. Somewhat later, it meant water-power, and 
now it means fuels. 

The current direction of research efforts is to achieve a con- 
trolled hydrogen fusion reaction, so that the energy needs of 
growing industry can be met. 

In space, that problem is already solved. The Sun's been doing 
it for billions of years— and the only reason we can't use it here 
on Earth is that the cost of the structure needed to concentrate 
sunlight is too great. 

So let's set up Asteroid Steel Company's No. 7 plant. It's in 
orbit around the Sun about one hundred million miles outside of 
Mars' orbit. Conveniently close— within one hundred or two hun- 
dred miles— are floating in the same orbit a dozen energy col- 


lectors. They don't last long— a few months or so— but they're 
cheap and easy to make. A few hundred pounds of synthetics 
are mixed, and while they're copolymerizing, the sticky mass is 
inflated with a few gallons of water vapor. In an hour, the process 
is complete, and a horny-looking film of plastic has been formed 
into a bubble half a mile in diameter. A man goes in through the 
bubble wall after it's set, places a thermite bomb in the middle, 
and retires. A few seconds later, the bubble has been converted 
to a spherical mirror. A little more manipulation, and at a cost of 
perhaps one thousand dollars total, two half-mile diameter mir- 
rors have been constructed, located, and faced toward the Sun. 
A little equipment has to be laced onto them to keep them from 
being blown out into outer space by the pressure of the solar rays 
they're reflecting, and to keep them pointed most advanta- 

The beam— poorly focused though it is— of one of these solar 
mirrors can slice up an asteroid in one pass. Shove the asteroid 
in toward the beam, stand back, and catch it on the other side. 
So it's half a mile thick, itself? So what? A few passes, and the 
nickel-steel directly under that mirror-beam boils off into space. 
Power's cheap; we've got a no-cost hydrogen-fusion reactor giv- 
ing all the energy we can possibly use— and collectors that cost 
almost nothing. 

The steel— it's high-grade nickel-steel; other metals available 
by simply distilling in vacuum, of course!— once cut to manage- 
able sizes can be rolled, forged, formed, et cetera, in the heavy 
machinery of Plant No. 7. The plant was, of course, constructed 
of the cheap local metal; only a nucleus of precision machine 
tools had to be hauled up from Earth. And those are long since 
worn out and discarded from Plant No. 1. 

The plant itself has a few power mirrors to provide the elec- 
trical energy needed. After all, with the free fusion-reactor hang- 
ing right out there, nobody's going to go to the trouble and risk 
of installing a nuclear power plant. 

Plants for food, of course, need light— and they'll get just ex- 
actly as much as they can best use. So the direct light's a little 
weak out there? Aluminized plastic film costs almost nothing per 
square yard. 


And the third factor for heavy industrial development is, of 
course, easy access to market? How easy can it get! It's a downhill 
pull all the way to any place on Earth! Whatever the system of 
space-drive developed, it's almost certain to allow some form of 
"dynamic braking"— and it's usually easier to get rid of energy 
than to get it. From the asteroids to the surface of the Earth 
you're going down hill all the way— first down the slope of the 
solar gravitational field, then down Earth's. 

Spot delivery of steel by the megaton, anywhere whatever on 
Earth's surface, at exactly the same low cost follows. There's easy 
access to all markets from space! 

Meanwhile Solar Chemicals Corporation will have their plants 
scattered somewhat differently. Landing on Jupiter is, of course, 
impossible for human beings— but it's fairly easy to fall into an 
eccentric orbit that grazes the outer atmosphere of the planet. 
That wouldn't cost anything in the way of power. Depending on 
the type of space-drive— antigravity or some form of bootstraps 
lifter— ships would take different approaches to the problem. 

The problem, of course, is that Jupiter's atmosphere is one 
stupendous mass of organic chemicals raw materials— methane, 
ammonia, and hydrogen. And, probably, more water in the form 
of dust in that air, than we now realize. 

In any case, if Jupiter doesn't supply oxygen from water, the 
stony asteroids do— as silicates. And Saturn's rings, it's been sug- 
gested, are largely ice particles. 

The solar mirrors are less efficient at Jupiter's distance, of course 
—but Solar Chemicals doesn't need to melt down planetoids. 
Their power demands are more modest. 

With Jupiter's atmosphere to draw on, it seems unlikely that 
Man will run short of hydrocarbon supplies in the next few mega- 
years. And there's always Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in re- 
serve . . . 

We're only beginning to understand the potentialities of 
plasmas and plasmoids— of magnetohydrodynamics and what 
can be done with exceedingly hot gases in magnetic fields under 
near-vacuum conditions. Space is the place to learn something 
about those things— and one of the things we've already learned 


from our rocket probes is that the immediate vicinity of magne- 
tized planets is exceedingly dangerous. 

Open space might prove to be somewhat healthier than we 
now realize. And if there are some difficulties— generating our own, 
homegrown magnetic fields isn't an impossibly difficult matter. 
Particularly when we've got nickel-steel by the megaton to work 
with! And it is not, remember, necessary to build our space plants 
—it might prove wiser to carve them, instead. 

The meteorites that reach Earth are, of course, almost entirely 
composed of common silicates and nickel-iron. However, the 
Earth is also, to the best of current belief, composed almost en- 
tirely of those materials. Nevertheless there's quite a tonnage of 
copper, silver, lead, tantalum, titanium, tungsten, molybdenum 
and other metals around here. And, presumably, in the asteroids. 

Silicate meteors being common, we can expect effectively un- 
limited quantities of raw material for glassy materials in space. 
On Earth, vacuum distillation is scarcely a practicable method of 
separating the components of a rocky ore; in space, however, 
vacuum distillation is far more economical than processing in 
various water solutions. On Earth, high-energy processes are ex- 
pensive; solution processes relatively cheap. In space, with the 
energy of a star to play with, solution processes will be used 
rarely— and whole new concepts of high-energy-level chemistry 
will be invented. Jupiter's atmosphere will supply plenty of low- 
cost carbon for constructing graphite processing equipment. 

We can, effectively, make our own solar flares— our own sun- 
spot vortices— by injecting gas into the focused beam of a half- 
mile mirror, traveling not across, but along the beam. The 
light-pressure effects, alone, should yield a jet of gas at high 
velocity equivalent to several tens of thousands of degrees. 

There's every inducement for heavy-industry development in 

And against that— what have the planets to offer? 

Earth, of course, is a unique situation; we evolved to fit this en- 
vironment. The planets do have open skies, instead of walls, and 
natural gravity, rather than a constant whirling. They are, and 
Earth in particular will remain, where men want to live. 


Sure . . . and men today want to live on a country estate, with 
acres of rolling hills and running streams and forest land, with 
horses and dogs around. 

That urge is so strong that, at least around the New York Metro- 
politan area, anywhere within seventy-five miles of the city, they 
can sell a structure that an Iowa farmer would consider a pretty 
cramped hencoop for forty-five hundred dollars, as a "summer 
home/' All it needs is a pond renamed Lake Gitchiegoomie within 
a mile or so. 

Man, you ought to see the beautiful, uncluttered landscapes in 
Western Ireland! Lakes that aren't ponds, and not even one house 
on them. They don't have to have water-police to handle the 
traffic jam of boats on a one by three mile "lake" there. 

Only . . . who can afford commuting from New York to Ire- 

Well, there's one sure thing about the space-cities. They won't 
have the smog problem. 

April i960 



The proposition involving the science-fiction hero who captures 
the enemy device, brings it home, copies it and puts it into 
production is being abandoned in modern stories. But the actual 
difficulty of such a problem is always interesting and worthy of 
consideration. Only recently has Earth's own technology reached 
the point where such copying is not possible; today it is definitely 
impossible in a large field of devices. 

Let's first consider this situation: Time: About 1920. Place: An 
American Army Air Base. Action: High overhead a small air- 
plane tears across the sky with a high, thin whistle. Ground ob- 
servers, after tracking it for a minute or so— during which time 
it has passed out of sight— report incredulously that it was doing 
between nine hundred fifty and one thousand miles per hour. 
It circles back, slows abruptly as the whistle dies out, and makes 
a hot, deadstick landing. Investigators reach the cornfield where 
it landed, and find it ninety percent intact— and one hundred 
percent impossible. Swept-back wings, no tail, automatic control 
equipment of incredibly advanced design, are all understandable 
in so far as function intended goes. But the metal alloys used 
make no sense to the metallurgists when they go to work on them. 
The "engine," moreover, is simply, starkly insane. The only indi- 
cation of anything that might remotely be considered an engine 
is a single, open tube— really open; open at both ends. But the 
empty fuel tank had tubes leading into some sort of small jets in 
that pipe. The athodyd being unheard of in 1920, the thing is 
senseless. Filling the fuel tanks simply causes a hot fire that must 
be extinguished quickly to prevent burning out the tube. The fact 
that this is a guided missile intended for launching from a four- 
hundred-mile-an-hour bomber makes the situation a little difficult 
for the 1920 technologists; the athodyd won't start functioning 
below two hundred fifty m.p.h., and nothing on Earth could reach 
that speed in 1920. 


Meanwhile, the Signal Corps experts are going equally chittery 
trying to figure out the controls. First off, the plane's markings 
were clearly an advanced United States Army design. Many 
equipment parts bore United States Army Signal Corps markings 
and serial numbers. But the equipment inside is not only of ad- 
vanced design, it's of meaningless design. The idea of printed 
circuits is fascinating, but understandable if not reproducible. 
Pentode amplifiers the size of a peanut are fascinating, not repro- 
ducible, and only vaguely understandable. For one thing, the fila- 
ment isn't used at all; an indirectly heated cathode is a new item 
to them. However, the items that really stop them are several 
varieties of gadgets, all about the same size, but of violently dif- 
ferent characteristics. There are units one eighth inch in diameter 
by about three fourths long which have resistance varying from 
one hundred to ten million ohms. Incredible, but true. Others 
have infinite resistance, and are condensers of capacity so high 
for their tiny size as to be unbelievable. Still others have three 
leads, and, opened, seem to be crystal detectors— understandable 
—but are amplifiers, which doesn't make sense. They also turn 
out to be nonreproducible. They are simple mechanical structures, 
using the very unusual element germanium, in the crystals. But 
the chemical expert's best purified germanium won't work when 
a reproduction is tried. (You've got to have the right amount of 
the right impurity introduced in the right way. Techniques in the 
'20s weren't up to it. ) 

Furthermore, there's a tube that's obviously a triode oscillator, 
but the frequency involved is so high as to be detectable only 
when using crystal detectors from the plane's own equipment. 
The circuit, too, doesn't make sense to the radio engineers, though 
the physicists from the Bureau of Standards finally figured it out. 
( It's a tuned-line oscillator operating at about four hundred mega- 
cycles. The physicists had to go back to Hertz's original work 
with tuned-rod oscillators to get a glimpse of what went on.) 
They can't reproduce the tube, and no tube they can make will 
oscillate in the circuit used. 

Finally, there's another group of equipments they've simply 
agreed to forget. It seems to center around a permanent magnet 
of fantastic power which embraces a copper block drilled with 


holes of odd sizes, having a central electron-emitting rod through 
it. The magnetron is bad enough— obviously beyond reproduction, 
since the cathode can't be duplicated, the magnet can't be du- 
plicated, and the metal-to-glass seals are beyond any available 
technique. But the associated equipment is worse. There is a col- 
lection of rectangular pipes made of heavy silver-plated copper. 
The pipes contain nothing, carry nothing, and appear totally 
meaningless. This time the physicists are completely stumped. 
(Wave-guide theory is a recent development; without some 
basic leads, and understanding of the order of frequencies in- 
volved, they'd never get there.) And worst of all, the physicists 
find that several bits of the equipment contain radioactive ma- 
terial. They know about radium, uranium, thorium, et cetera. 
But— this is highly radioactive, and it's cobalt. But cobalt isn't 
radioactive! But this is, and it is cobalt. (It's the transmit-receive 
tube; the radio-cobalt is used to keep it ready to ionize easily 
and instantly. ) They also find radioactive emanations from much 
of the plane's material, with faint indications that half the ele- 
ments in the chemical table are radioactive— which is arrant non- 
sense! (The guided missile had been flown through the fringes of 
an atomic bomb test gathering report data.) 

In summary, the aerodynamicists report that the tailless mon- 
strosity is interesting, but the principles of its design are confus- 
ing. The engine group report the "engine," so-called, can't be the 
engine. It was thought for a while that it might be a rocket, but 
since both ends are, and always were, wide open, it can't pos- 
sibly be a rocket. The radio experts of the Signal Corps agree that 
some of the equipment is an immeasurably advanced type of 
radio apparatus, but the design is so advanced that it is futile 
to study it. It can't be reproduced, and involves principles evi- 
dently several centuries ahead of the knowledge of 1920— so ad- 
vanced that the missing, intermediate steps are too many to be 
bridged. The mystery electronic equipment, called Equipment 
Group X, remains simply mysterious, save that, in some way, it 
involves a receiver operating on an unknown, but very high fre- 
quency. (By which they meant not the ten thousand megacycle 
input but the "low" frequency intermediate frequency amplifier, 
operating at only thirty megacycles. Having no means of generat- 


ing thirty megacycles at that time, they could only say it was 
higher than the highest available. And they didn't, of course, 
recognize the ten kilomegacycle RF head as a receiver at all.) 

The physicists would be inclined to ascribe it to Mars, Venus 
or any other non-terrestrial planet, if it weren't for the obvious 
Signal Corps markings. Since terrestrial cobalt isn't radioactive, 
and the cobalt in this ship is— 

But anyway, the reports can only be tucked in the "File And 
Forget" division. About the only thing they can lift out of that 
piece of marvelous equipment is the secret of making good, small, 
high-resistance electronic resistors. The chemists and physicists 
did crack that one, and it's the answer to an electronicist's prayers; 
the tiny resistors are not wound with sub-microscopic resistance 
wire, as was at first believed— they're little ceramic tubes 
filled with a composition of clay and graphite which is such an 
extremely bad conductor that it does the job beautifully. By vary- 
ing the composition, resistors of a standard size can range from 
one ohm to one hundred million. 

At that, our 1920 group was really lucky. Suppose the item that 
fell through a time-fault had carried an atomic warhead. If it 
didn't go off, it would have presented the physicists with two of 
the most dangerous, utterly inexplicable lumps of matter imagin- 
able. Pure U-235 or pure plutonium— that would have driven the 
chemists mad!— before they'd even discovered synthetic radioac- 
tivity. They would have been certain to kill themselves by bring- 
ing those two masses too close to each other, though, out of the 
bomb mechanism, they wouldn't have exploded. 

But— write your own ticket, in your own special field. Let 1920, 
or 1910, or 1890 try to understand the functioning of any one 
of your modern gadgets. Even though, in those years, first-rate 
scientists with a full understanding of scientific methodology, and 
with fairly complete laboratory equipments, were available! 

November 1948 


There's a great tendency on the part of a human being to say 
"It always seemed to me . . ." or "I never did believe that . . ." 
or the like. It's self-evidently true that the above statements can- 
not be true of any individual, in any instance whatsoever— not in 
the sense implied by the individual. Since no individual has 
existed forever, "always" is inherently inapplicable. Since no in- 
dividual carried on active philosophical evaluational processes 
at birth, or immediately thereafter, "always" in the sense of "as 
long as I have existed" is never applicable. 

But we're so ready to pretend that we haven't changed! The 
basic implication of such statements is simply "I am as I have 
been and as I will be . . . and furthermore, I'm right, have 
been, and will be." 

As a long-time science-fictioneer, I run into that characteristic 
in its acute— and acutely irritating— phase. The fellow who "knows" 
that science fiction is nonsense— the one who, in 1941, "knew" 
rockets larger than Fourth of July fireworks were nonsense, but 
who, after reading that V-2S were landing one-ton lots of high 
explosive in London, instantaneously changed polarity, and "al- 
ways knew" rockets could do that sort of thing. But who, as of 
1944, "knew" atomic energy was nonsense— and as of August 8th, 
say, 1945, "always knew" we could do it. 

The "interval of wonder" is astonishingly small in most people. 
Of course, eliminating it does make one feel smug, well satisfied 
with one's deep and cogent understanding of all things. But it 
seems to me you miss a lot of the fun of sensing the change around 
you! You know, no matter how fast you're going, you have no 
sense of motion; it's only the acceleration that you can detect. 
There's no kick to steady motion— the lift and thrill comes in de- 
tecting the great driving thrust that produces the change of speed. 

A world of no change is boring beyond endurance— yet it seems 
to me that a lot of people are missing the immense and joyous 


stimulus of living in a period when the world is changing, ac- 
celerating, faster than it ever did before— by a sort of mental 
black-out. They blank out the acceleration period, like a rocket 
pilot who passes out during the 8g thrust of the take-off, regain- 
ing awareness only after the change of speed has been made. 

We re only half aware of the immense thrust of civilization to- 
ward a higher speed of accomplishment. The change of level is 
something even the science-fictionally alerted individual can read- 
ily miss— because the acceleration is on so broad a scale. The 
non-science-fictioneer is apt to skip that interval of wonder com- 
pletely—and it's not too easy for the science-fictioneer to find all 
of the intervals of wonder, the moments of mental acceleration 
when we recognize that a vague hope, a half-dream, has become 
a reality. 

Dr. John Pomeroy, who's done a number of articles for the 
magazine, is an Argonne National Laboratory researcher— and far 
from sending me tidbits of classified information, has simply kept 
me aware of the standard catalogues and brochures of the in- 
dustrial companies that offer various industrial components to 
interested markets. That supply of catalogues and standard com- 
mercial offerings I find far more exciting and intriguing. Talking 
about going to the Moon, or to Mars is interesting— but what 
counts is the day someone publishes their annual catalogue of- 
fering " our catalogue number . . .' for the four-man scout, satis- 
factory for Lunar exploratory work, or asteroid prospectors; not 
recommended for gravitational fields exceeding fifty kilonewtons." 

The booklets Dr. Pomeroy has sent along, during the last few 
years, are the "our catalogue number . . ." offerings that have 
reduced the science-fiction of 1940-45 to specific commercial 

The Collins Radio Company offers, in their catalogue listings, 
radio receivers and transmitters intended for amateur and com- 
mercial installations— and also a cyclotron, standard commercial 
model, a packaged item ready for delivery and installation on 

Just about twenty years ago, the cyclotron was the newest and 
furthest frontier of extremely advanced laboratory research. 

General Electric, I understand, has an eighty megavolt betatron 

"our catalogue number . . ." 67 

they are about ready to offer as a packaged unit for industrial ap- 
plication. Their smaller, twenty-five megavolt model is recom- 
mended for X-ray quality control inspection on heavy castings 
and forgings. 

I got into theoretical physics back in 1928, because science 
fiction had convinced me that that was the field wherein the 
great advances would be made in my lifetime— atomic energy and 
the like. In 1932, the neutron was discovered, the cyclotron work 
began, and the real surge to crack the nucleus got under way. 

The mass spectrograph was, at that time, a rare and wonderful 
device, possessed by a few of the most advanced university lab- 
oratories. Mass spectrographs are now offered on an "our catalogue 
number . . ." basis by a number of firms. Recording electro- 
spectrophotometers are offered for industrial labs, "in gray crackle 
or other finish. File space for storing recordings or other data 
built into the cabinet. A handsome piece of equipment in any 

Yes— the fact that it does automatically, and in a matter of 
seconds, something advanced university laboratories couldn't ac- 
complish in weeks a few decades ago is not enough; by rights 
the technician properly holds that it should also be good looking, 
convenient, and make efficient use of space. Mass spectrographs, 
on the other hand, are advertised as useful devices for detecting 
leaks, and for production-line quality control inspection. 

Robots are offered by several scores of companies; they aren't 
tin men, since no one wants a tin man for any valid industrial 
use, so they're called "automatic process control equipment" or 
the like— or "digital computer systems." But the computing ma- 
chine that was, not more than a few years ago, a thing of rare 
wonder is now a standard catalogue item from dozens of com- 
panies. A recent issue of Scientific American carried a series of 
articles on cybernetics— but the advertisements that went with 
the articles were even more revealing. A popular, newsstand sale 
magazine carrying advertisements for standard trade devices that 
would be described only in science-fiction magazines as little as 
fifteen years ago! 

The last batch of commercial catalogues I got from Dr. Pom- 
eroy contains one that is still at least a little bit on the interval-of- 


wonder boundary. It's from Radiation Counter Laboratories, 
Inc., of Nucleonic Park, Skokie, Illinois— their "RCL Illustrated 
Price List No. 12." One of the first items offered, I see, is "A Hand- 
book On Small Research Nuclear Reactors for Universities & In- 
dustry," $6.00 a copy ( 10% discount on 5 copies or more ) . 

Then there's the "Oak Ridge Compensated Ionization Cham- 
ber, RCL Mark 17 Model 2," a neutron-sensitive instrument 
used in pile controls. Outside dimensions 3 feet long, by 3% 
inches diameter. $1,345. 

They do not as yet, apparently, have a complete small nuclear 
reactor installation, with all control equipment and installation 
costs, offered as a packaged installation as a catalogue item. That 
may be a year or two more— but not much longer, I imagine. 

I can't yet get quotations on that four-man scout ship— but I 
can, if I want, get quotations on eighty megavolt X-ray equip- 
ment, or small atomic power plants. 

Of course, we always knew that would happen, didn't we? 

July 1953 


The philosophy of the true scientist is one of the few things he 
does not, ordinarily, express clearly; this is, in part, because he, 
of all men, considers human opinions of little import in the scheme 
of things, and a philosophy appears to be simply a system of hu- 
man opinions. He's wrong in that to some degree; a philosophy 
is a theory of the relationships of the Universe, actually— and it 
is important to state theories clearly, communicate them, and 
cross-check them with the observations of others. 

But because his personal philosophy is so personal, he seldom 
defines it clearly for others to investigate and consider. Perhaps 
it would be worth while seeking to find a definition— a clear state- 
ment—of the scientist's philosophy. Many of the fine scientists I 
know and have known appear to me to act on a system of be- 
liefs somewhat like this: 

They believe in the existence of a Supreme Authority in 
the Universe, an Authority they call "Natural Law." They hold 
that that Authority is above and beyond the opinions and beliefs, 
the will or willfulness, of any human being. That that Authority 
can, moreover, be directly consulted by any man, at any time— 
and that every man is, at every time and in every place, directly 
and specifically obedient to that Authority, to Natural Law, 
whether he recognizes that fact or not. 

They believe that the highest task of Man is to seek to under- 
stand more fully the nature of the Laws of the Universe. 

That the highest good of Man is achieved by understanding 
and working with those Laws, and not by seeking to defy them. 

That the system of laws is absolutely inescapable, but that any 
individual law can be offset by proper use of others of the total 
system of laws. That Natural Law is like an equation having 
many terms; the total equation must always be in balance, but 
that any one factor on one side may be altered at will by ac- 


cepting appropriate alteration of factors on the other side of the 

That Man thus has free choice with respect to any situation— 
but he cannot rationally speak of having free choice as to whether 
he will or will not obey the total system of the Laws of the Uni- 

The scientist believes that he has made a mistake any time 
his actions lead to results he did not predict— and that it is sub- 
limely futile to say that the Universe is wrong, or unjust, or ir- 

Since only total knowledge of everything in the total Universe 
could make possible accurate prediction of all the results of any 
action, the scientist is necessarily an humble man; he knows he 
must make mistakes. 

But the scientist is also a proud man; he is proud of his will- 
ingness to learn, to give up his dearest conviction in the face of 
a new learning. 

The scientist seeks to state his beliefs in the clearest, most un- 
equivocal form he can achieve; thus he can more quickly detect 
and correct errors in his ideas as to what he thinks the Laws are, 
and what those Laws actually are. 

The scientist seeks to communicate his ideas to other men of 
high ability and knowledge equal to his own; if he cannot com- 
municate his idea to them, he knows he has not adequately clari- 
fied his statements, or has made some error in his development of 
his idea. He has made a mistake; it is futile to hold the other man 
at fault. This he learns early, for it is a simple extension of the 
concept of the futility of blaming the Universe when his experi- 
ment goes in a direction other than he predicted. Other people 
are, clearly, part of any individual scientist's external Universe. 

The scientist likes to work with machines. A machine is a 
structure which has no beliefs, no biases, no willingness to be 
friendly nor any desire to be inimical, for it has no desires. It's 
utterly honest, granting no favors and refusing no earned reward. 
A man can fool himself; he can even fool his friends and, some- 
times, his enemies. A machine is honest to a fault. 

A machine invariably does precisely what you have "told" it 
to do; if your instructions— i.e., your design— are not clear, the ma- 


chine does not function as predicted. If it doesn't, the fault is 
yours— you gave the instructions. Designing and building any 
type of machine is a powerful lesson in humility and, equally, in 
self-respect. If it works, you know precisely why it does; if it 
doesn't, you may not know why, but you must, inescapably, 
acknowledge an error, for the machine will not function until 
you do acknowledge that you have made an error, and both seek 
and find that error. 

The true scientist is an humble man in another respect; he 
acknowledges that the Laws of the Universe apply in full to him- 
self; that they limit him as well as otiiers, and will equally help 
him as well as any other. 

He is also a courageous man; he is willing to submit his tender 
and beloved beliefs to the harsh test of practice and experiment, 
well knowing that most of the time the experiment will prove 
him wrong and force him to rebuild, laboriously, the structure of 
belief he so recently completed. 

To the nonscientist he seems very strange. The scientist looks 
at the Ptolmaic theory of the Universe, and the modern concept 
of the Cosmos, and says: "They are not very different; each yields 
the same predicted observations to the first decimal point." His 
understanding completely confuses the nonscientist, for the 
scientist holds that facts are very deceptive, yet also holds that 
all understanding must be based on fact. How can this be? 

It's very confusing to the nonscientist to have an electrical en- 
gineer and a mechanical engineer get together and say that an 
automobile transmission gear shift is essentially the same thing 
as a multi-tapped transformer. 

The resultant attitude the scientist shows toward his theories— 
the way he abandons one and shifts over to "an entirely dif- 
ferent" one— makes him seem somehow intellectually dishonest, 
untrustworthy and unreliable to the nonscientist who cannot see 
the fundamental similarity of the theories. How can a man hon- 
estly say that an automobile gear shift is the same thing as a 
multi-tapped transformer? Only by recognizing that each is an 
impedance matching device, that each is a modification and 
application of the basic principle of the lever. 

The scientist seeks the Basic Laws, and is not afraid to find 


that they apply to him— for he knows that they always have ap- 
plied to him, and always will, whether he acknowledges them or 
not. The Law of Action and Reaction applied to Ug, the Cave- 
man; it was Ug's ignorance of them that got him into trouble, 
for the Law applied whether he knew or not, whether he so 
willed or not. A Man-made law can seek to limit a humans 
freedom; the nonscientist many times confuses Man-made law 
and its effects with Man-discovered law and the results of that 
discovery. It was not Newton's discovery of the Law of Gravity 
that kept men from flying— it was the existence of the Law that 
did that. But it was Newton's discovery of the Law, plus the 
Wright's application of certain laws of aerodynamics, that finally 
led to Man's flight. 

When Ug, the Caveman, caught a small boulder thrown at him, 
and staggered backward under the impact, he attributed the ef- 
fect to the stone. This was a misattribution of effect; the effect 
was assigned to the wrong cause. The stone, which he could see 
and which had palpable existence, was obvious; the momentum 
never existed apart from the stone, and was not obvious— until 
Newton recognized it. 

The scientist seeks to achieve a correct attribution of cause and 
effect; in doing so he invents nothing, generates no new laws, 
imposes no new limits on humanity. Knowing this, he is not averse 
to accepting that he is, was, and always will be ruled by the Laws 
of the Universe. 

Characteristically, many human beings lack the willingness to 
accept that they obey laws they do not know exist. In the field 
of personality and human relations, for instance, there is a deep 
rebellion against the idea that there are laws which apply. In that 
area, then, there are very few true scientists in the sense of in- 
dividuals willing to acknowledge freely that they are bound by 
and controlled by Universal Laws they do not know exist. 

But one of the most difficult tasks any physical scientist can try 
is that of defining in what way his basic philosophy differs from 
that of the sincere, self-searching moral philosopher, with his 
deep belief in God as the Supreme Authority, and the Giver 
of Universal Law. Perhaps it is, essentially, that the physical 
scientist says, in effect, "I have proven beyond doubt that there 


is Universal Law; I am not yet wise enough to know the nature 
of its source," while the moral philosopher insists that he knows 
the Source. 

It might help the integration of the physical, social and moral 
philosophical sciences, however, if each group could state in 
clearly communicable terms the essence of their beliefs. And 
this in turn would, surely, help in the integration of our vastly 
increasing physical competence with our laggard social engineer- 
ing competence. 

December 1953 


Human beings are so highly complex that, to date, no one of 
them has ever succeeded in figuring out (a) what he is, (b) 
what he wants, (c) where he's been, or (d) where he's going. 
Inasmuch as this includes you, me, and the rest of our friends, 
neighbors, and Wise Men, we need neither laugh nor shake our 
heads— though the gyrations resulting from the confusion above 
stated certainly range from the hilarious to the appalling. 

Currently, the Russians are claiming that most of the major in- 
ventions of the last couple of centuries were originally made by 
inhabitants of that area of the world now known as the U.S.S.R. 
The suggestion that these inventors, who accomplished so much, 
lived and prospered under a Czarist society would not be wel- 
come, in all probability. The fact that the inventors of the claimed 
devices generally recognized in the rest of the world— Bell, for 
example, as inventor of the telephone— lived in the capitalist 
countries is unacceptable to the Soviets, apparently. The Russian 
capitalist-era inventors are more acceptable, however, than non- 
Russian capitalist-area inventors. 

This is, perhaps, an original reaction, unique to Russian Com- 

The history books available in this country's schools have a cer- 
tain touch of precisely the same mechanism. Invention made by 
the now-enemy must be denied; invention made by the no-longer- 
dangerous enemy can be accepted safely. 

The history books give Greece and Rome credit for starting 
modern science— which happens to be an extremely serious error. 
It's serious because it obscures an uniquely important fact: That 
only two cultures in the recorded history of Man have developed 
that combination of philosophical analysis and experimental 
cross-checking known as Modern Science. Greece and Rome are 
not among those two; neither culture achieved anything that 
hadn't been achieved elsewhere, and achieved a lot earlier. Oh, 


certainly there were details that only Rome, or only Greece 
achieved; it's also true that only the Greeks invented Greek as a 
language. The important thing is that other peoples had lan- 
guages also. 

The Chinese and Egyptians achieved high-order engineering 
several millennia before Rome did. Egypt's earliest engineering 
works were older, when Julius Caesar built his bridge across the 
Rhine, than Rome's monuments are today. 

The Greeks did a lot with mathematics and geometry. The 
Babylonians had done so long before; the Egyptian surveyors of 
a few millennia before Rome was founded did considerable first- 
rate math, too. The Chinese had Pythagoras' Theorem worked 
out, too. 

The Incas, quite independently, achieved a military road sys- 
tem that put Rome's to shame. The Mayas had a calendar far 
superior to that the Greeks and Romans developed. 

Observation was old. Mathematics was old. It had been done 
before, and in many, many places, by many, many peoples. 
Rome's engineering feats weren't unique. 

What we know as Western Culture is a highly hybridized prod- 
uct of much intermingling— and has the consequent hybrid vigor. 
Now the curious thing about it is that there's a great tendency to 
resist being hybridized, and consequently a great tendency to 
deny that hybridization has taken place. The Western Culture is, 
essentially, a hybrid resultant of Judeo-Christian philosophy, 
based on the old Semitic fundamentals, plus Greco-Roman ad- 
mixtures, plus one other highly important admixture. The Greco- 
Roman-Semitic philosophy hybrid resultant had not done too 
well by the year 1000 a.d. The Dark Ages were not to be con- 
fused with Periclean Athens as an era of intellectual achievement. 
They say human beings want security; they had achieved it in 
Europe during that period. It was a magnificently static situa- 
tion; nobody learned anything new, and nobody got upset by 
having to face a new idea for several centuries. 

"Modern History" usually is measured from the beginning of 
the active phase of the Renaissance. What started the Renais- 


Our unwashed, louse-ridden, feudal, and essentially barbaric 
ancestors had had their thick heads knocked together vigorously, 
and been unceremoniously pitched out on their ears by the highly 
civilized, powerfully progressive Islamic peoples. That hap- 
pened not once, but four successive times. With the typical bar- 
barian's assurance that they know all there is to know that's 
important, the Europeans had tried marching into Palestine. 

They were trounced with appalling thoroughness and ease. 
They never established more than a minor beachhead against an 
Empire that stretched from Spain to India. Their nuisance value 
was minor, and if they could just be induced to behave in a semi- 
civilized manner, they were welcome to make any pilgrimages 
they desired. 

During World War II, when the Russians drove through into 
Germany and the other Western European areas, their troops for 
the first time came into intimate contact with how the Western 
peoples live— what the actual Western standard of living is. It 
certainly isn't perfect, and is a long sight lower than it should be 
—but it infected the Russian troops with new and, for them, fabu- 
lously high ideas of how to live. 

I suspect the same sort of thing happened to the Crusaders 
from Europe. Islam was civilized; Europe was not. Islam had 
achieved what no other civilization Man had developed had been 
able to; it invented Science. 

Rome didn't, and Greece didn't; they had each produced one 
of the two ingredients— as had many another people before them, 
and other peoples also produced independently after them. Phi- 
losophy is fine— but it won't stand alone. Athens fell flat on its 
beautifully philosophical face— for lack of an even passable sew- 
age and water system. Rome had magnificent sanitary engineer- 
ing systems— and fell flat on the problem of philosophy. 

Neither people ever cross-checked philosophy and engineering. 
The Romans had no respect for the airy-fairy philosophy of the 
Greeks; the Greeks never respected the harsh, materialistic Ro- 

We did not get our legacy of Science from Rome or Greece; 
we got it from Islam, the only people who invented it in all hu- 
man history! 


We should laugh at Russia's curious maneuvers with inventors? 
We, who, because Islam was, at the time, the great and dangerous 
enemy, preferred to attribute their inventions to the long- 
conquered enemy, Rome and Greece? The early Christians hated 
Rome with a holy and burning hatred; read the New Testament's 
all out vilification of Rome! But that battle against Roman cul- 
ture was long since won; it was safe, in 1400 A.D., to say that 
Romans and Greeks had been great and wise. 

Islam was the enemy! They couldn't be wise or great! 

So even a Czarist achievement is better than an American or 
French achievement in the eyes of the U.S.S.R. 

Yes, I think we've played that same old game before. It has a 
familiar ring, even though the names are different. Some things 
that happen for the first time— aren't. Propaganda is much older 
than the word "propaganda." George Orwell's "Ministry of 
Truth" is much older than "1984." 

The business about Islam, moreover, is important to the develop- 
ment of Mankind— because while Rome and Greece did not de- 
velop anything basically new, Islam did. And if we hide the fact 
that Islam, not Rome or Greece, invented science, we will miss 
the area in which must lie a unique force. Rome and Greece did 
not have that unique force; as pointed out above, many other 
peoples developed logic, mathematics and engineering. Studying 
Rome and Greece for the source-force that generated that unique 
thing, Science, therefore, would lead to frustration. You won't be 
able to find it, no matter how finely you comb the records; it 
wasn't there in the first place. 

The contribution of Islam has been heavily occluded by prop- 
aganda started in the age when the West and Islam were strug- 
gling. Actually, most of our basic sciences are heavily larded 
with Arabic terminology. Chemistry has dropped the old Arabic 
prefix al- from its own name, but retains it in alcohol— the Mo- 
hammedans invented distillation— and a number of other in- 
stances. The alembic is no longer used, but chemists need the 
Arabic numerals— borrowed from India— and aZgebra. 

One of the major troubles was the chemists didn't borrow 
enough. Lavoisier is credited with introducing the balance into 


chemical investigations. But as early as the eighth century (A.D.) 
the Arab chemist Yber-Abou-Moussah-Djafer Al-Sofi reported 
that when metallic lead is heated and calcined in air, the resulting 
compound is heavier than the original metal. Somebody must 
have been using the balance a bit before Lavoisier thought of it. 

Now at the time of Islam's greatest achievement, their influ- 
ence extended from Spain to India. They were in contact with 
Hindu, Chinese and other civilizations. But, curiously, only two 
cultures in the history of Mankind have either invented or ac- 
cepted Science. The highly civilized Chinese neither invented 
it, nor accepted it from the Arabs. The Hindus, likewise, failed 
either to invent or accept it. The Christians didn't invent it— but 
they did accept it. 

In this, I mean by "science" that method of learning that in- 
volves the equal interaction and cross-checking of philosophical- 
theoretical thought, and actual physical-reality experiments, done 
as a conscious process for the consciously stated purpose of in- 
creasing knowledge and understanding— that is, increasing data 
and relationship-of-data. 

Why? Why only these two? 

Unquestionably, in any system so complex as a human culture, 
there is more than one factor. But we can find a factor that is 
present in these two, and missing in the others that achieved 
greatly— but didn't achieve Science. 

The Scientific cultures have an Absolutistic philosophy— and a 
monotheistic philosophy. Remember that * religion' ' is, by deriva- 
tion, the study of "the laws of things"— or "cosmology" in modern 
linguistic terms. 

Both Mohammedanism and Christianity stem from the old 
Jewish philosophy of One God— an Absolute God, whose laws 
were absolute, and could be appealed only to the One Absolute 

The Greeks were in a quite different Universe. It didn't have 
any single set of laws or rules; if Zeus made a ruling, one you 
found irksome, you could try getting Athena or Poseidon or 
Aphrodite, maybe, to change it. If there was some curious phe- 
nomenon observed— observe it and forget it. The whim of a god 
isn't lasting; some other god will change it. The smart man will 


study texts on "The Psychology and the Rivalries of the Gods," 
because that's the only way to get anywhere. 

If an ancient Greek observed that it took longer to boil an egg 
on top of a mountain than it did at sea level— so what? You fool, 
don't you know Zeus and Poseidon dislike each other? Poseidon 
rules water; Zeus rules the upper air. What do you think is going 
to happen to water when you take it up nearer the upper air? 
Naturally it doesn't work as well. 

And if you study Platonic philosophy, and find that it has cer- 
tain uncomfortably binding restrictions on your actions— why the 
Sophist school is just as logical. It just appeals to other Gods— er, 
I mean other postulates— but it's just as logical, isn't it? Of course. 
And there's no need to stay with it, if it proves irksome; there are 
other philosophies, too. 

A polytheistic cosmology is not going to lead to the develop- 
ment of science. Science is, moreover, going to be a mighty un- 
popular philosophy in any culture; it has an absolutism about it 
that says "It makes no difference who you are, what you are, or 
what you want. Neither does it matter what your wealth is, or 
your political power. These are The Laws; obey or suffer." 

It could be considered, even, only by a culture that had already 
accepted the idea of an Absolute Power in the Universe. 

The great difficulty with that problem is that, once you've 
found that Absolutes do exist— you're apt to go sort of absolutistic 
about it, and say "These are the Absolute Laws— and these are 
absolutely all the laws." 

The Jewish people invented the monotheistic philosophy that 
made science possible— but they didn't invent science. They had 
too much of the absolute, perhaps. The Arabs were relatively ab- 
solute—and invented Science. 

Christians and Jews have done fine with it ever since; until 
very recently nobody else has been able to! 

It rather looks, then, as though Einstein's relativity is an es- 
sential part of the philosophy necessary to developing Science— 
but must be recognized as being necessary, but not sufficient. 
There is reason to believe that both relatives and absolutes are 
necessary to a developing science— that either, if held to be the 


Be All and End All of the matter leads to stagnation and non- 

Now it is interesting that the whole progress of science has 
centered around that area where there are Absolutes— the areas 
where no man has a right to his own opinion. The progress made 
in the social sciences, where opinion has been dominant, and 
everything has been fanatically relative, has been very small in- 
deed. Psychology claims to be a "young science"; we can go into 
that question some other time, but it's worth pointing out that 
Aristotle did a fine textbook on psychology, sociology and an- 
thropology some two-thousand-odd years ago. "The Confessions 
of St. Augustine" has a most thoughtful and intelligent study of 
guilt feelings. The Aesculapian priests of Greece were using 
narcosynthesis— drug hypnotherapy— some twenty-five hundred 
years ago. The age of the Hindu Vedda is considerably disputed, 
but it's not much younger— and has considerable data on clinical 
psychosomatic medicine using hypnotherapy. There's really been 
astonishingly little progress in the humanic sciences in the last 
few millennia. 

The progress has all been in those areas where dear old Mother 
Nature took a club to Man's thick skull, and said, in effect, "This 
is the unit you'll use— whether you like it or not. Your opinion on 
the matter is completely unimportant. And yes, Tom, your opin- 
ion is just as good as Dick's or Harry's— and all three are no good 
whatever." Where Nature supplied absolutely non-relative units, 
like atoms and photons, Science got somewhere. 

Want to have some fun with the relativity formulas? Try tak- 
ing some different units, and see what happens to them! The 
relativity formulas involve a lot of higher power terms— squares, 
cubes, and higher. If you take your unit of velocity not as cen- 
timeters per second, but as c, then all the higherpower terms of 
c reduce to 1.00, no matter what the power is. Then the v terms 
all become fractional, and higher powers of fractions are smaller 
values than the original fraction, whereas higher powers of quan- 
tities greater than 1.000 are increased by self-multiplication. By 
picking the right set of self -consistent units, you can make the 


most marvelous hash out of the relativity formulas— without al- 
tering the formulas an iota! 

And if we've got a relativistic universe, with no absolutes in 
it, then I can play deuces- wild with the units. You start being 
relativistic, and I'll relativistic you right out of business! I'll make 
as much of a mess out of your science as the humanic scientists 
have made out of theirs. All I need is the right to make my choice 
of units purely a matter of personal preference! 

July 1954 


Words are simply sound-symbols for concepts; the meaning of a 
sound-symbol is not rigidly, unchangeably connected to a con- 
cept, so subtle change can readily set in. And usually does, of 
course, unless specific efforts are made to establish a solid, rigid 
correlation between symbol and concept. Science has made prog- 
ress largely by reason of working with hard, rigid definitions, and 
sticking to them. That's the only way you can discover you're 
stuck with one— and admit the need for a change of concept. 

But outside of science, the concepts sort of ooze out from un- 
der a symbol, without anyone actually admitting the change has 
taken place. The only way you can check, then, is to recall the 
old, pragmatic dictum, "I don't care what you say; what do you 
do?" Physical science has accepted rigid definitions, because phys- 
ical science is one hundred per cent concerned with action- 
doing. An electron is a concept— but the term refers to a pattern 
of behavior, of doings. 

I want to discuss a certain American sound-symbol, one that 
has badly slipped its moorings. Discussing the symbol is pretty 
useless, under such circumstances, because it can be shown that 
"history proves that . . ." by referring to what that sound-symbol 
did refer to. So let's set up a brand-new, nonsense word and de- 
fine it in terms of action-doing. Reason: We'll have a term which, 
as a term, has no historical values whatever. We'll be forced to 
discuss the historical value of the action-doing system it refers to, 
because the term itself has no history. 

Then we can, later, cross-check with the historical terms, and 
see how much, and in what direction, the terms have slipped. 

Let's use the term "gwolic system" to refer to a particular eco- 
nomic philosophy. We'll define a "gwolic system" as a system un- 
der which major units of economic production are allowed to be 
controlled in an essentially arbitrary manner by individuals who 
gain their position by demonstrating unusual competence and 

"i KNOW WHAT YOU SAY . . ." 83 

ability. The individual executive under this system is not respon- 
sible to any higher authority for his individual decisions, but is 
held accountable for the over-all success or failure of his steward- 

Under the gwolic system, the individual who shows executive 
competence by maintained over-all success, is automatically able 
to achieve the same type of arbitrary, individually-determined 
control over greater and greater economic units. 

Mistakes he may make, causing a loss, he need not explain nor 
account for to anyone else, so long as his net average performance 
is as good or better than that of his highest-ranking competitor. 

However, under the gwolic system, if his average is surpassed 
by a competing executive . . . he's out. 

The system is, obviously, a little rugged on the individual ex- 
ecutive; there is no guarantee of job-security, nor any reward for 
length of service. 

But it has marked advantages from the viewpoint of the econ- 
omy as a whole. It assures that the major productive units of the 
economy will be in the hands of individuals of exceptionally high 
competence. And the control is not determined on a basis of pre- 
determined theory or ideology, but on the harsh, pragmatic test 
of workability. 

Further, workability is necessary, but not sufficient. If John 
Jones has made the economic unit under his control work, and 
work well . . . that's only enough to hold the job temporarily. As 
soon as someone comes along who can make it more workable, 
John Jones is out, and the new man is in. 

Notice that the executive is free to make any arbitrary deci- 
sion that he, personally, tbinks is sound— and no over-riding board 
peering over his shoulder reviews those decisions before they're 
acted on. He's a dictator, free to impose his opinions on the eco- 
nomic unit under his control. The only limitation imposed on him 
is that the net result of his actions must be advantageous. 

That this system would lead to high productivity, and a maxi- 
mum rate of growth is fairly evident. That it would be hard on 
the individual executive is also obvious. It would also, of course, 
be hard on the individuals employed in the economic unit when 
the executive did make a major blunder. 


So much for a definition-description of a "gwolic system/' 

Now what historical name does this system correspond to? 

The old-fashioned Capitalistic system, of course. The executive 
accumulated control over a major economic unit by accumulating 
capital; he owned the resultant unit, and managed it on a private- 
decision basis, without supervisory control. If he managed it well, 
on the average, his executive power was increased by further 
accumulation. If he slipped once or twice, he learned from the 
experience ... or, if he didn't learn, he went bankrupt, and the 
control passed to others who could do better. 

Further, if he was doing a good job, but another man came 
along who could do better . . . control was gradually taken from 
him, and the wiser executive gained. 

The individual executive, under that system, was uncontrolled 
in so far as immediate decisions were concerned . . . but defi- 
nitely controlled by loss of economic control if he continued to 
fall behind. 

Now let's consider another type of system, one we'll call a "ngoric 
system." A ngoric system is characterized by committee-and- 
theory control of economic units. Executives are appointed, but 
they operate under policy established by the committee, acting 
on an agreed-on theory of How It Should Be. The immediate 
success or failure of the economic unit so controlled is not so im- 
portant; the realization of the theoretical goal established is. Thus, 
even if one economic unit continues to function at a loss for a 
considerable period, it will be maintained, because the theory 
requires that it be done that way. Even an economic unit that 
does not work can be maintained under the ngoric system, be- 
cause it should be. 

The larger the scope of the committee and theory, the less 
workability of any one economic unit matters, and the less im- 
portant competence of the executive becomes. 

The ngoric system has obvious advantages; for handling long- 
range projects involving a long period of initiation, it is self- 
evidently excellent. The mammals, in essence, introduced the 
ngoric system, when they introduced long-term care of the young. 
The young are always incompetent, and an economic loss, until 

"l KNOW WHAT YOU SAY ..." 85 

a very large investment of time, effort, and energy has developed 

It's also the ngoric system that makes research laboratories pos- 
sible. Governments, too, operate largely on the ngoric system. 

What historical term corresponds to this defined system? The 
Socialistic system, of course; it is a system wherein government 
committees, operating under theory, appoint executives to oper- 
ate economic units. The fact that an economic unit isn't producing 
adequately doesn't mean that anything is wrong in a socialistic 
system; the theory is important, not the practice. If it's a thing 
that should work, then patience, and continued subsidy, is sure to 
make it succeed. 

Of course, it's a little hard to tell whether the personnel of the 
project is competent; the mere fact that their project isn't get- 
ting anywhere doesn't prove anything, of course. It takes time for 
these things. And it is difficult to get satisfactory executives for 
Socialistic programs; so many of the highly competent individuals 
are so impatient with theories, and show such poor acceptance 
of proper organizational procedure and discipline. They keep 
tending to act on their own, instead of consulting the committee 
before making any moves. 

And now the big question: Which type of system— Capitalistic or 
Socialistic— does the United States have today? 

Socialistic, of course. Yes, I know they say it's Capitalistic . . . 
but what do they do? Can a major economic unit make a move 
today without consulting with some series of committees? If it 
isn't the Securities Exchange Commission, it's the Federal Trade 
Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, a state 
Utilities Commission, or, at minimum, some Labor Committee. 
Congress doesn't have the power to make executive decisions for 
private capital companies like the American Telephone and Tele- 
graph Company, of course. But the Department of Justice forced 
their subsidiary, the Bell Telephone Laboratories, to renounce its 
rights under the Patent Law. (As it did also for IBM, and is in 
process of doing to RCA. ) And, of course, the Federal Communi- 
cations Commission rulings determine what the company execu- 
tives must do. And it was long ago pointed out that "the power 


to tax is the power to destroy ," which fact both Congress and the 
A.T.&T. thoroughly appreciates. 

No executive of a major economic unit in this country is free to 
operate without half a dozen committees peering over his shoul- 
der. No economic moves involving finance can be undertaken 
without first consulting the Securities Exchange Commission. 

Meanwhile, the railroads operate almost uniformly in a state of 
quasi-bankruptcy. They, the only inherently efficient long-haul, 
heavy-duty transportation system, are being taxed and unionized 
into inoperable condition. 

Now, on the other hand, let's see what kind of economic system 
the vaunted Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has. 

Practically pure gwolic! Sure, the executive may be called a 
"commissar" instead of "owner"— but he's an executive having di- 
rect, personal authority over major economic units, held respon- 
sible for the over-all success of his unit, but not for his individual 
decisions toward that end. 

Ah, me, how the symbols and the referent concepts do ooze 

Soviet Russia has, in all the action-doing particulars, an almost 
pure Capitalistic system . . . while the Capitalistic United States 
has an almost pure Socialistic economy! 

One thing remains true; the gwolic system, under whatever 
other name you put it, has historically proven, again and again, 
the system that gets the most real accomplishment in the least 
time. It worked wonderfully for the Americans, when we had it, 
and it seems to be doing great things for the Russians now. 

It always was a good system. Too bad we gave it up. 

August 1957 


Xrays weren't discovered by logical deduction, followed by a log- 
ically constructed, crucial experiment; they were called "Xrays" 
because, when Roentgen first observed the effect, it was a com- 
plete, and unexplainable surprise. Unexplainable— and therefore, 
of course, unpremeditatable, unpredictable, and unplanned. 

It was not the result of sound, scientifically organized research. 
It just happened. 

What do we mean by the term "research" today? 

I believe it can be shown that there are two broad classes of 
search-into-the-unknown, two classes that can be sharply differ- 
entiated in the sense "north" and "south" can be clearly and 
sharply differentiated. They are opposite directions— though it's 
perfectly obvious that New York City is north of Washington al- 
though it's south of Montreal. If you want to confuse an issue, 
obfuscate a point, if you want simply to defeat an argument, that 
makes things easy. Just confuse direction with position, and you 
can argue both ends against the middle, pick either side you want 
and "prove" it. "You can't say that New York is north 1 Why, it's 
certainly not even in the arctic zone!" 

The two directions of search-of-the-unknown we might call ex- 
search and insearch; together, they constitute research. 

By "insearch," I mean that class of search-of-the-not-yet-known 
which involves deducing the meaning implicit in the set of postu- 
lates we are working with— "making the self-evident obvious." 
Ideally, a sufficiently well designed, and sufficiently large logical 
machine, such as the direct lineal descendants of the modern 
electronic computers might be, could carry insearch to comple- 
tion, and deduce all the consequences of a given set of postulates. 

Theoretically, at least, a logic machine could deduce from Eu- 
clid's postulates, all the theorems of Euclidean geometry. Since 
this involves exhausting an infinity, the thing can't be done by 


any existable machine; see Isaac Asimov's "Hemoglobin and the 
Universe" for a detailed development of why it can't. 

Insearch, then, is an infinite field; unlimited work can be done 
in deducing the consequences of a given set of postulates. 

But . . . notice very carefully that "infinity" is not "all"! Al- 
though a logic machine could theoretically deduce all the con- 
sequences of Euclidean geometry, this term "all" is not the same 
as the term "all" in the phrase "all possible geometrical theorems." 

There's the old pseudo-syllogism about the cat-o'-nine-tails: 

1. Any cat has one more tail than no cat. 

2. No cat has eight tails. 

3. Therefore, any cat has nine tails. 

The trick, of course, is that "no cat" means two totally different 
things in the first two statements. 

"All consequences of Euclid's postulates" is a limited infinity- 
it's infinite, but bounded. It's like an asymptotic curve; it goes on 
forever, yet it never gets beyond certain limits. 

And the theorems of curved spaces lie outside the limits of 
Euclidean geometry. Therefore the logical machine, even if it 
exhausted the infinity of Euclidean geometry, would none the 
less never reach curved-space theorems. 

The logic machine type of search is insearch— an infinite, but 
bounded field. 

By exsearch, I mean search for the unknowns outside the limits 
of known postulates. 

Einstein's work, of course, was exsearch; he went outside the 
limits of Euclidean geometry, which, up to that time, had been 
considered the laws of real-world space. Einstein didn't originate 
the curved-space geometry; the postulate Einstein transcended 
was the one which held "Euclidean geometry describes real- 
world space." Only by going outside the bounds of that postulate 
—doing exsearch outward from the known limits— was it possible 
to achieve Relativity. 

No possible deductions staying within the then-known limits- 
no logic machine, however immense or rapid— could have gone 
from Newtonian physics and Euclidean geometry to Relativity. 
It couldn't have, because the postulate "Euclidean geometry ap- 


plies to real-world space/' would have forced it to cancel out as 
inconsistent any deductions that led in that direction. 

Exsearch is, necessarily, contralogical; it transcends the logi- 
cal bounds. However, the moment it has done so, and established 
a new outpost in the thitherto Unknown Outside . . . that im- 
mediately becomes a new postulate, so the area is instantly inside 
the new postulate system! 

Research necessarily includes both processes— and if either one 
is omitted, the result is not true research. 

Under current social dogma, research is antisocial! Only in- 
search is socially acceptable; if you cut a process in two, and 
throw away one half, you do not have the process any more. 

To show that a particular culture holds a particular postulate 
concept is always difficult. To show that our own culture holds a 
postulate concept which it denies holding is extremely difficult 
. . . when you're trying to show that to members of that culture! 

Certainly America vigorously insists on its high regard and 
belief in the value of Research. 

Yes . . . but ... "I know what you say, but what do you do?" 

What America does in fact value most highly is insearch. But 
exsearch is culturally rejected, and exsearchers are punished! 

Let me validate that statement. 

The most highly organized group of professional scientists, with 
the longest period of recognition as a group, and the group most 
fully expressed in legislation, is that of the Medical Doctors. The 
forces that are still vague and poorly focused in other fields have 
had time to crystallize and clarify their consequences in Medi- 
cine. It takes time to work out the logically deducible conse- 
quences of any given set of postulates, in the older field of 
Medicine, those postulates have been worked out. Therefore the 
results are more clearly visible. 

The same essential forces are at work elsewhere; I start with 
Medicine solely because it has had more time to clarify the con- 
sequences of those forces. 

A culture expresses its philosophy in its laws; if the philosophy 
holds human life cheap, so do the laws. If the philosophy accepts 
slavery, there are laws about slavery. If the cultural philosophy 


accepts research, there are laws about research. Patent laws, for 
example. The laws regulating Medicine represent the interac- 
tion of the philosophy of Medicine itself, and the culture; each 
finds expression in the resultant legislation. If either Medicine or 
the culture were violently, fundamentally opposed to an idea, the 
laws would be changed. The present situation is decades old. 

It is, then, legitimate to argue that whatever the laws hold rep- 
resents something not unacceptable to the philosophy both of 
Medical Science and American culture. 

Suppose a patient comes to a doctor, and careful examination 
reveals that he has leukemia. His own doctor sends him to spe- 
cialists, to a clinic, and it is definitely determined that this in- 
dividual has leukemia. 

As of now, leukemia is an invariably fatal disease; the treat- 
ment methods accepted as standard by Medical Science, in 
other words, invariably fail to produce cure. The mortality rate is 
one hundred per cent. 

Now consider two possibilities: 

1. The doctor treats his patient according to standard Medi- 
cal procedures. 

2. The doctor treats his patient according to an unorthodox 
technique of his own. 

If he uses Standard Operating Procedure, he knows with very 
high certainty that his patient will die. He does so; the patient 

If he uses an unorthodox treatment of his own on a group of 
patients, let us say he gets a thirty per cent rate of cure, while 
seventy per cent of his patients die. 

Under the second situation, the doctor can be harassed by mal- 
practice suits by the family of any of his patients who die. If he 
used the orthodox procedure, in the full knowledge that it would 
fail, he cannot be prosecuted. 

The culture, and Medical Science are in full agreement; if it is 
orthodox, it's "good," even if it never works— but if it is unortho- 
dox, it is "bad," even if it succeeds! 

Suppose a doctor treats a leukemia patient by a new and un- 
orthodox method, and the patient survives, recovers completely, 
but his unorthodox curative drug causes a side-effect that pro- 


duces complete loss of hair. The doctor can be sued by the 

When Ehrlich introduced 606 as a treatment for syphilis, some 
individuals died of arsenic poisoning as a result of its use. Ehr- 
lich was violently attacked; it took a trial to clear him. 

If a doctor used an unorthodox method, and used it success- 
fully—he would still be liable to expulsion from the Medical So- 

Now if the doctor could show that his unorthodox treatment 
both worked, and was logically deducible from accepted postu- 
lates—he would be let off with a very severe warning, and most 
definitely told not to do that again. 

Reason: He violated the postulate: "All new treatments must 
be accepted by the Authorities before they can be tried." 

Both Medical Science and the culture must approve in actual 
fact of this attitude expressed in our laws: if it's orthodox, it's 
good, even if it never works, while the unorthodox must never be 
tried, even if the orthodox method is known to fail every time. 

Now consider passing a law to this effect: That a doctor who 
uses a known method of treatment, under circumstances wherein 
it is known to fail invariably, is guilty of malpractice and may be 
sued by his patients. 

An immediate consequence of this would be that every doctor 
who used standard, orthodox treatment on leukemia patients 
would automatically be open to a malpractice suit. Those meth- 
ods are known to be inadequate; why, then, should the society 
tolerate their continued use? 

Under such a situation, doctors would be forced to do exsearch 
work on the problem. Inevitably, some progress would be made. 
The time, effort, and money now being thrown away on known- 
to-be-useless treatment of leukemia victims would, at least, yield 
some genuine research benefits to the society. 

Treatment by rubbing with redistilled essence of rattlesnake 
oil could not be less valuable than treatment by a method known 
to be futile. 

But— to establish such a situation is to establish the proposition 
that exsearch is a tolerable, even a valuable thing. 

Obviously, no matter what the culture, and Science may say 


about that, the simple fact that the laws are what they are show 
that they do something entirely different. They do suppress ex- 
search vigorously. 

As I said, I cite Medical Science only because it is longest es- 
tablished, and most thoroughly embodied in laws. The fact that 
the culture accepts those laws shows clearly that the philosophy 
behind them must be not-unacceptable to the culture. Then we 
should be able to find the same philosophy expressed elsewhere 
in the culture, though perhaps not codified in so clear a form as 
in the medico-legal instance. 

Consider a business executives problem when an inventor 
comes to him and claims he has a wonderful new idea. 

The executive's first move is to call in his professional experts 
in the field involved. 

Assume that there is no professional jealousy whatever in- 
volved; that the professional experts are honest, sincere, and well- 
trained, and that the inventors idea involves an exsearch step 
that flatly violates what they know to be true. 

The professional experts turn down the idea. "It's manifestly 
impossible; it would involve a violation of Frahmstahl's Law if it 
did work! If he presents a 'demonstration' of his idea, it must 
necessarily be a hoax ... or at best it's a mistake." 

If the executive plays a hunch, and backs the inventor, despite 
the honest advice of the professional experts ... his board of 
directors will be decidedly hard to satisfy. His action is not logi- 
cally defensible. Even if the inventor has presented a demonstra- 
tion that convinces the executive, his action is still indefensible 
in view of the testimony of the experts. 

Furthermore, even if the inventor proves to be right, and his 
device does actually work, the executive will still have a rough 
time with his Board! Even under these conditions, their attitude 
will be, "Welllll . . . you got away with it this time, but only by 
luck! Don't ever do any such illogical thing again, though; under- 

In a logic-based culture, only logically defensible research is ac- 
ceptable—and that means insearch only. 


We hear a lot of discussion of the vital necessity of more "fun- 
damental research" today. 

Take a look at the laws— at what our culture does— and judge 
what "research" means to them. 

Somebody formulated the motto: "Don't undertake vast proj- 
ects with half-vast people." 

A research plan that tolerates only insearch, and punishes 
exsearch, however big a project it may be, is only a half -vast pro- 

April 1958 



There's a well-known and well-hated law of laboratory experi- 
ment that goes, "In a laboratory experiment, if something can go 
wrong ... it will." 

"Wrong" in this sense usually means that a random factor gets 
in, where none is supposed to be. And random factors, by defi- 
nition, can do anything. It could even improve the results of the 
experiment, of course. 

Dr. Wayne Batteau, of the Harvard School of Applied Sci- 
ence, has been studying the basic structure of the scientific 
method from the viewpoint of Information Theory analysis. One 
of the interesting logical results— translated from symbols into 
English— is "In total ignorance, try anything. Then you won't be 
so ignorant." 

Let's add a third item; all higher animal life-forms display the 
characteristic that, when under extreme environmental pressure, 
they can go into panic behavior, acting with great violence and 
determination in a manner entirely different from the normal be- 
havior patterns of the organism. This applies all the way up to 
and including man. 

Usually, panic behavior is characterized by its ineffectiveness 
or complete inappropriateness. The woman who tosses the mirror 
out the window of her burning home, and carries the pillow care- 
fully down the stairs, is essentially similar in behavior to the 
chicken that, panicked by the rapidly approaching automobile, 
runs frantically, squawking, for home . . . into the path of the 

Panic certainly appears to be an utterly negative, useless, and 
destructive characteristic, and has almost invariably been so la- 

Maybe it isn't, though. If it were so completely useless, why 
would three billion years of evolution have yielded organisms 
which, quite uniformly, retain the characteristic? 

98 collected editorials from Analog 

Perhaps Dr. Batteau's statement of the case is applicable. 
Given: An organism with N characteristic behavior modes avail- 
able. Given: An environmental situation which cannot be solved 
by any of the N available behavior modes, but which must be 
solved immediately if the organism is to survive. Logical conclu- 
sion: The organism will inevitably die. But ... if we introduce 
Panic, allowing the organism to generate a purely random be- 
havior mode not a member of the N modes characteristically 

When the probability of survival is zero on the basis of all 
known factors— it's time to throw in an unknown. Panic is not 
logical— but it is most exceedingly sensible, as a basic mechanism 
of evolution! 

If an organism is being attacked by a predator, the predator 
has a plan of campaign all figured out. It knows the characteristic 
behavior of its prey, what its defensive and evasive maneuvers 
are, and how to compensate those variables. For the predator, it's 
a sort of laboratory experiment. 

But the experiment can go wrong, if the victim can introduce a 
purely random, uncompensated, and unpredicted factor. It might 
cause his survival. 

Panic behavior is, necessarily, unlikely to yield useful re- 
sults—the probability of any particular random act leading to suc- 
cess is pretty small. But— an organism doesn't use panic in a 
random fashion; it uses the panic mechanism only after all known, 
high-probability methods have been ruled out as having no prob- 
ability of success. Under those conditions, panic has the maximum 
probability of success, simply because it never has a zero prob- 

If I ask the question, "What number am I thinking of?" you 
have a certain, extremely small chance of guessing the right an- 
swer. But if you answer "Isaac Newton," the probability of that 
being correct is, obviously, zero. When a certain pattern is spe- 
cifically, and positively known to be a wrong answer, then any 
random pattern has a higher probability. 

These simple facts have a very great bearing on an important 
human problem; the problem of the quack doctor, particularly 
the cancer quack. The method of attack on the problem now 


being used specifically has zero probability of success; it is in- 
herently futile to pass laws against him, because three billion 
years of evolution have established that his function is necessary! 

Consider this: John Brown, rich bachelor, without family, is found 
to have cancer. It happens to be a type which cannot be treated 
by surgery, radiation, or drugs; it is inoperable, incurable, and 
inevitably lethal. The best and most competent medical experts 
examine him, and assure him that there is nothing that medical 
science can do. 

If John Brown is a sane, rational man, and believes that his 
doctors are competent and expert, he will recognize that it is now 
time to go into panic. He will reject any further medical con- 
sultations, because he has been assured, by the best available 
authorities, that medical technique has zero probability of help- 
ing. The only rational thing to do, if he trusts the competence of 
his doctors, is to look for non-medical help. Any other course of 
action is irrational. 

It will be far more rational for John Brown to go to a hex doctor 
in the Pennsylvania hills, or to a South American Indian witch 
doctor, than to a licensed m.d., he has been authoritatively in- 
formed by doctors who know medical technology thoroughly, that 
medical technology cannot help. No one knows enough about 
the technology of a hex doctor to make such an authoritative 
statement; therefore it is perfectly rational to try anything other 
than a licensed m.d. A licensed m.d. is the one type of healer he 
knows cannot help him. 

He may try mysticism, astrology, herbal remedies, psychother- 
apy, or any unlicensed, unorthodox, medically-rejected quack. 
The very fact that the quack has been rejected by medical sci- 
ence is John Browns assurance that he has some idea that medi- 
cal science does not have. 

He will be perfectly sensible and rational to spend every 
nickel of his fortune in this way, so long as he does not spend it 
with regularly licensed physicians I 

Only if John Brown does not trust his original doctors to have 
full and competent knowledge of medical technology can he have 
reason to visit another orthodox m.d. 


John Brown is in an environmental situation of lethal stress, 
and ovemhelming immediacy; he might donate his money to the 
American Cancer Society— but there'll be another John Brown's 
body mouldering in the grave, which is what concerns him. 

Trying to legislate against the quack cancer doctor is trying to 
prevent the ancient human right to try anything, when all known 
methods fail. There isn't anything more ultimately hopeless than 
to seek to prevent a man who knows he has no chance within the 
orthodox framework from trying unorthodox methods. Further- 
more, it's inherently unethical; if medical science cannot help the 
man— they have no business whatever trying to deny him help 
from any other source, whether they think that other source is 
valid or not. 

The Panic Experiment is an inherent right of every living 
entity; three billion years of evolution shows it makes sense. The 
one tiling that a wise therapy organization can do is to help the 
Panic Experimenters, and allow them to help humanity by mak- 
ing their Panic Experiments— their random, try-anything experi- 
ments—as efficiently useful in gathering understanding as possible. 

It's an ancient, basic right, that right to try anything. If the 
medical profession wants to help— help that right constructively, 
instead of futilely, and quite pointlessly, trying to block it. The 
simple fact remains; if you can't help a man— don't try to keep 
him from seeking other help. 

The medical profession has a tough problem, however. Natu- 
rally, no m.d. would be an m.d. if he felt that a hex doctor's train- 
ing was more effectively curative. How then can a commission of 
m.d.'s evaluate hex doctors as to whether they are intentional 
quacks, or experimenters sincerely trying a different approach to 
a problem that medical science hasn't yet solved? 

How is Panic to be evaluated? It consists, essentially, of ac- 
knowledging that no known method is adequate, and that an un- 
known must be tried. Suppose that the unknown is applied, and 
that shortly thereafter John Brown is found free of cancer. 

Now how do we evaluate that? That medical efforts applied 
previously had finally taken effect? That the Unknown— let's say 
it was laying-on-of-hands by a hex doctor— was the cause of the 


effect? That the change in his whole life-pattern that took place 
when he accepted the need for the Panic Experiment caused a 
change in some psychogenic factor that underlay his cancer? 

The m.d. will reject the laying-on-of-hands; it isn't a uni- 
versally repeatable experiment. It cannot be fitted into any 
framework of cause-effect logic now known. It isn't, and can't be 
made into, a teachable science. 

It's an individual- vs. -group problem again. The individual hex 
doctor laid on his individual hands, and cured John Brown, in- 
dividual. But what good does that do anyone else, if it isn't teach- 
able? Understandably, John Brown isn't too concerned about that, 
just now; he's cured. 

But there are other problems. There was an old doctor in Up- 
per Michigan, years ago, who had his own mystic salve for 
wounds. (Not cancer.) Some weird gunk of his own. The local 
medical society tried several times to make him shut up practice, 
but didn't succeed. The salve was analyzed at the University of 
Michigan and rated worthless. People liked his salve, and claimed 
it helped on ulcerated sores. The medical society objected 
strongly, back in the '20s and '30s, because it was perfectly or- 
dinary salve, except for some highly unsterile, foul-smelling mold 
he put in it. 

By all that was then known, putting a mold in a wound salve 
was not only nonsense— it was unsanitary, and wrong. How were 
the doctors then to guess that the old boy had, somehow, acci- 
dentally stumbled on some high-potency antibiotic producer? Un- 
derstandably, they were intensely irked that the old fool with 
his crazy salve was so well-regarded by patients who didn't know 
any better. To the best of their sincere and honest judgment, the 
salve was, or should be, a menace to the health of the patients. 
It contained nothing beneficial, to the best of their knowledge, 
and did contain something that was very probably— to their best 
knowledge— decidedly unsterile. They would have been dishonest 
if they had not maintained that, in their best judgment, the salve 
was a menace. Certainly no honest doctor, in his right mind, in 
1930 would have suggested to his patient that smearing a blue- 
green bread mold on his wound would stop the ulcerative infec- 


It just happened to be true. 

That, in essence, is the problem of the cancer quack. It's com- 
plicated by the fact that, as has been demonstrated repeatedly at 
Lourdes and other shrines, in some individuals, for some un- 
known reasons, faith-healing of cancer does take place. If John 
Brown happened, for reasons unknown, to have developed enor- 
mous faith in "Dr." Johannus Q. Diddlewiddy, and Dr. Diddle- 
widdy gave him a series of injections of not-too-sterile salt 
water— John Brown could have been completely, thoroughly, and 
unarguably cured of his incurable cancer. Since present science 
looks to objective causes for observed events . . . how to evaluate 
Dr. Diddlewiddy's salt-water cure? Particularly if Dr. Diddle- 
widdy happened to be not a money-grabber quack, but an 
entirely sincere, however misguided, man? Suppose Dr. Diddle- 
widdy has that mysterious power of "laying on of hands"— which 
has been reported repeatedly— doesn't know it, and sincerely be- 
lieves that his impure salt water is the curative agent? 

Sure, the problem's tough. But it is not going to be banished by 
trying to rule out "cancer-cure specialists" by legal action. The 
W.C.T.U. tried to solve the problem of alcoholism by passing laws 
against alcohol. 

The American Medical Association is going to get just about 
equally effective results in trying to legislate away the ancient 
human right to Try Anything when the panic situation arises. 

Panic makes sense, then; legislating against panic action is 
faintly ridiculous, isn't it? 

August 1956 


One of the major faults I find with the "scientific approach" to 
problems is the powerful tendency to hold that that-which-is- 
known necessarily embraces all-that-is-possible. Stated in that 
form, of course, any scientist would immediately deny it; it's nor- 
mally stated in reverse form— i.e., "nothing known can produce 
such effects, so it is clearly a hoax, misobservation, or fraud." 

I've been interested for some years in watching the case of 
Krebiozen, a cancer-treatment that has been vigorously attacked 
by the AMA— as have all cancer treatments other than their ac- 
cepted, standard procedures of radiation, surgery, and caustics. 
There's been a running battle for years between the doctors who 
have used the stuff and believe they have clear evidence it works, 
and the AMA people who have not used it and insist it doesn't 

For a long time, the Krebiozen faction refused, or claimed to 
be unable to supply a purified sample of their material for AMA- 
sponsored analysis; they demanded that the AMA make what 
amounts to a biological assay test— i.e., run a standard double- 
blind test of the effectiveness of the remedy in actual cancer 
cases. In a double-blind test, neither the doctor nor the patient 
knows which individuals are getting the test-drug, and which are 
getting blank solutions; only a central computer has the number- 
correlations that finally match results with identification. This is 
the one type of test that assures that subjective factors will not 
influence either the patient's reactions, nor the doctor's evalua- 

The new drug laws— resulting in part from the thalidomide 
furore— finally made it possible for the AMA, working through 
the Federal Drug Administration, to force the Krebiozen faction 
to supply a concentrate of their material for chemical analysis. 

Chemical analysis has many powerful tools these days; infrared 
spectroscopy shortly permitted identification. The infrared 


spectrum of the Krebiozen sample was shown to match, one-to- 
one, the infrared spectrum of a well-known protein component of 
muscle tissue— creatine. The effects of creatine being well known 
—none whatever— it was at once clear that Krebiozen could not 
have any useful effects, as the AMA had long maintained. 

There is, it seems to me, just one slight hitch in that simple- 
minded conclusion. 

I am prepared to supply an extremely effective herbicide 
which I can positively guarantee can be shown by the most care- 
ful chemical analysis to consist of extremely pure water. "Con- 
ductivity water/' in fact— water so extremely purified that it does 
not conduct electricity. There will be less than o.ooi parts per 
million of impurity in it. And chemical analytical techniques 
haven't even started to get good enough to reach that level of 
analysis 1 

Which seems sort of contradictory, in view of the fact that cer- 
tain impurities in water, present in concentration of about io~ 15 
are legally defined as making the water "impure." And I am not 
talking about radioactives, either— perfectly ordinary chemical 
compounds of stable elements. 

My herbicide belongs to the same type-class; a concentration 
of io~ 18 or so would be quite adequate to ruin a field of growing 
plants. Readily proven by biological assay . . . but some ten 
orders of magnitude beyond the reach of chemical analysis! 

How? Well, starting with conductivity water, I need add only a 
very minute trace of a known crystalline material— tobacco mo- 
saic virus. The resultant solution, sprayed on young tobacco 
plants, could do quite a job, couldn't it? 

And the legal definition of impure water has to do with the 
permissible concentration of bacteria coli in the water. Anyone 
want to try to spot that quantity of complex protein by chemical 

So Krebiozen contains creatine? Well, well . . . And what else 
does it contain? Probably some hydrogen oxide too, I betcha. 
Since it's extracted from horse serum, it's quite apt to contain a 
couple of oddments of metabolic processes. Horses being noted 
for their quantity of muscle tissue, the presence of a muscle tissue 


extract of no significance isn't too startling, really. And since the 
mighty powers of modern chemical analysis can t find anything 
else present, that proves that creatine is all that's there. 

Look friends ... I have a bottle of a nice clear solution that 
should improve the situation for chemists who think like that. 
They're free to analyze it to their hearts content ... if only 
they'll drink it after they've "proven" it has nothing of any sig- 
nificance in it. Lessee now ... we could load it with botulinus 
spores ... or concentrated polio virus ... or even anthrax 
spores; then we could let him boil it for an hour before swallow- 
ing it, and still the damn fool would have personal experience 
with the fact that the limits of his knowledge and talents are not 
the limits of reality. 

I have no personal interest in Krebiozen; I do have an acute 
personal, as well as citizenship interest in the honesty of thinking 
of science and medicine. 

Anyone in a field of medical-biological work who considers, 
even temporarily, that chemical analysis is adequate for the de- 
termination of an unknown remedy is inexcusably incompetent, 
dishonest, or muddleheaded beyond toleration. 

To consider that spectrum identification is an adequate tool for 
such work is even further in the direction of fantastic— appalling! 
—irresponsibility. Obviously spectrum identification requires that 
the spectrum be already known. This is a way to analyze an un- 
known material? 

One microgram of cobaltamine— vitamin B-12— is considered a 
reasonably adequate vitamin supplement for that material. If an 
adult consumes one kilogram of food, plus an additional kilogram 
of water in a day, the concentration of that vital cobaltamine is 
0.005 parts per million in his diet. You will, maybe, find this with 
an infrared spectrum? 

Cancer, it is currently believed, arises from cells whose growth- 
regulating mechanisms have gone wrong— somehow the DNA- 
RNA information has been altered disastrously. 

It is currently believed that virus particles are more or less loose 
DNA fragments, wrapped up in a protein capsule. 
It's quite conceivable that the ultimate answer to cancer would 


be a highly specific vims that contained precisely the DNA co- 
dons that the cancer cells lacked— and attacked them, without, 
of course, bothering normal cells at all. (One class of thing you 
cannot learn is that which you already know. The cells that al- 
ready have the codon information on self-restraint wouldn't 
"learn" anything from such a virus; the cancer cells would.) 

If someone prepared such a virus, and submitted a highly 
active and adequate sample to the present AMA-FDA groups, 
it's evident that it would be reported as "fully identified as a 
solution of sodium chloride in water." Virus particles in normal 
saline solution, concentrated to about io~ 12 would be an ex- 
tremely powerful solution . . . biologically 1 

Remember that it is inevitably necessary that I use analogies 
which you, the reader, already know the answers to. If I handed 
you an example, instead of an analogy, it would of course be 
meaningless! I can, for instance, hand you an example-for-a-1935- 
scientist, but it will be an analogy for you. Suppose I could bor- 
row a time-transistor somehow, and slip back to the Bell 
Telephone Laboratories, in 1935, and hand them a collection of a 
few modern solid-state devices. Say a silicon diode rectifier, half 
the size of a golf ball, rated at 150 amperes, 400 volts peak inverse. 
(That would drive the power-supply division into a flying 
frenzy! ) And a grown-crystal audio-amplifier unit, with grown-in 
solid-state resistors, capacitors and transistors, half the size of a 
pea. A simple little semi-microscopic germanium diode detec- 
tor, too, and perhaps be very generous and supply a couple of 
the new silicon carbide lasers. ("You put in the juice here and 
here, and the coherent beam of blue light comes out here.") 

Let us now stand back and watch the chemists try analyzing 
that stuff. That silicon rectifier, now . . . they'll find it's a single 
crystal of pure silicon. They haven't got a technique good enough 
to come close to guessing how pure. (None of their reagents, or 
the water they're using to analyze it, are pure enough anyway; 
the techniques for getting commercially usable quantities of con- 
ductivity water weren't developed until transistor work forced 
them into use. ) And since they can't come close to the purity of 
the silicon, they can't possibly detect the doping impurity that 
makes it work. They won't do it with a spectroscope, either— 


partly because they don't know how to get a spectroscope clean 
enough to do any good! The "background noise" of contaminants 
in their reagents, their equipment, and the atmosphere they work 
in would conceal the doping impurity. 

A large part of the work the Bell Labs did in the years after 
they did invent the transistor was concerned with developing 
techniques for getting clean tools, clean reagents, clean equip- 
ment, which made possible the modern transistor. It wasn't just 
the concept of the transistor they developed; Bell Labs had to 
develop a whole new chemical and industrial concept to make 
production possible. 

"Zone refining" was one of those— a technique whereby already 
ultra-purified germanium, silicon, or other material could be 

Back around 1940, the people working with copper oxide rec- 
tifiers at Bell Labs and other electronics industry research centers, 
knew that copper from a certain area in Chile made the best 
copper oxide rectifiers. Montana copper wasn't as good, nor was 
African or Mexican. 

Yeah— sure— everybody knows that copper is an element, and 
an element is an element, and where it comes from has nothing to 
do with the matter. And in the days before knowledge of the 
"doping" behavior of semiconductive materials was available, 
who knew that a small-fractional-part-per-million impurity could 
make a huge difference? 

The labs had tried analyzing the Chilean copper; they were 
perfectly sure that there was some impurity present. But no tech- 
nique known to science as of 1940 was able to detect it. 

After the information was of no practical significance— copper 
oxide rectifiers having been entirely displaced by silicon and 
germanium diodes— techniques developed in transistor research 
made it easy to determine the impurity. Zone refining, for in- 
stance, can sweep all the impurities on a bar of germanium— or 
copper— down to one end, thus concentrating them neatly for 
analysis. But by then, of course, it had become a completely aca- 
demic question. . . . 

However, if someone says something like that business about 


only Chilean copper being good for the device he's invented . . . 
he almost certainly wins himself, right there, the "Strictly Crack- 
pot!" label. 

On the other hand, when the AMA and FDA proudly an- 
nounce that they have completely identified a previously un- 
known remedy because they Ve identified the infrared spectrum 
of one component . . . that, sir, is Science at Work! 

Pardon me while I go back to Magic. 

The magicians used to try something out before they decided 
whether it worked or not. 

January 1964 


The FDA s recent blast at Krebiozen as being "nothing but crea- 
tine" is of interest in view of the following item— a letter which 
appeared in Science (17 November, 1964, p. 1113). 

Pre-ig62 Creatine sought. 
We are seeking help in finding 50 grams of Eastman ( Distillation 
Products Corporation) creatine, catalog No. Q51, purchased prior 
to 1Q62. We have been informed that the source of the creatine 
sold by Eastman has changed, and toe find a different physio- 
logical response from that formerly found in rats fed creatine. 
Eastman has been unable to locate a supply of the earlier product 
for us. 

W. R. Todd, Department of Biochemistry, 
University of Oregon Medical School, Poi-tland. 

Whether there has been an impurity in the old which is not in 
the new, or vice versa, seems to be undetermined at this point. 

But of course, both lots were sold as being "nothing but crea- 

The rats appear to have considered otherwise. 

September 1965 


"Be not the first by whom the new are tried, 
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside." 

Essay on Criticism 
Alexander Pope 

My recent editorial on "Fully Identified/* concerning the FDA's 
press splash that Krebiozen had been "fully identified" as creatine 
brought in a lot of letters, and a lot of phone calls from people 
acutely interested in Krebiozen. 

My point in the editorial had been single, simple, and specific: 
whether Krebiozen was or was not useful in treatment of cancer 
I did not know— but that the FDA's press release was exceed- 
ingly bad science, anyone who took the trouble to study the 
matter a little could readily see. It was a great piece of publicity 
work— all about the summer student who tracked down the spec- 
trogram . . . charts and whatnot— got a big splash in Life and the 
newspapers. As publicity stuff, that was a Grade A piece of work. 
Having some familiarity with the art myself, I recognize a real 
artist's touch. 

That doesn't make it science. I've learned since that it not only 
wasn't science, it wasn't even honest reporting. The sample of 
Krebiozen the FDA reported on, according to data published in 
the "Congressional Record," was light tan in color, and fluorescent 
under ultraviolet light. Creatine is snow-white, and not fluores- 
cent. The fact that any sophomore chemist would immediately 
recognize that an impurity was present seems not to have 
reached the scientists of the FDA's staff. 

My objection was simply and solely to the specifically non- 
scientific methods being used in the name of Science in that in- 
stance. The letters I got— and the telephone calls— were from 
individuals who had a very different problem. 

One typical one was from an electronic engineer in his late 


thirties. Four years ago he was operated on for cancer of the 
intestines; a year ago the cancer recurred. The doctors who ex- 
amined the situation then told him that it had spread, and was 
inoperable; they could offer him only palliative medication that 
would prolong his life, and reduce the pain. 

Six months ago, he started taking Krebiozen. The pain left, and 
the tumor shrank away. 

The FDA has now announced that they have "determined" on 
the basis of "scientific evidence" that Krebiozen is ineffective be- 
cause it is "nothing but creatine," and, therefore, have ruled that 
he cannot have Krebiozen any more; it will be illegal to sell it. 

So what's his situation? In effect, the FDA is telling him to go 
back on a "morphine diet," and toddle off to the grave like a good 
little man, and stop messing around with these unorthodox treat- 
ments that aren't good for him. 

I would like to raise a question here: Is it ethical for a group 
of men who can offer him no hope whatever, to deny him the 
right to try a remedy of which they do not approve? 

For that matter, is it ethical to take from a man who is recover- 
ing, a remedy which he believes is curing him? 

Any doctor knows that there is such a thing as a "placebo ef- 
fect"; that a completely inert material, which the patient believes 
in, can produce an effect when a biologically potent material, 
which the patient distrusts, will not. 

One example of that: an arthritis patient, when cortisone first 
began to become available, had been begging her doctor to let 
her have some. The doctor told her it was hard to get, but that he 
had a new remedy that was supposed to be almost as effective, 
and he would start trying to get cortisone for her as soon as he 
could. In the meantime . . . 

He did, in fact, have cortisone on hand. He did, in fact, give 
her cortisone injections. For four weeks, she was getting corti- 
sone, while the doctor told her he was trying to get some for her. 
She showed no improvement or reaction to the "substitute"— 
which was in fact cortisone. The fifth week, with great showman- 
ship, the doctor told her the cortisone had finally come in, showed 
her the cortisone ampule with its label, filled a hypodermic with 
sterile saline solution, and injected that. 


She showed immediate and dramatic improvement on the 
sterile salt-water therapy. 

That phenomenon is one of the things that makes evaluating 
therapeutic techniques somewhat more difficult than measuring 
a voltage, or weighing electrons or the companion star of Sirius. 

The field of medicine is one area where subjective reality and 
objective reality directly interact; they cannot be separated. The 
term "psychosomatic' has been sort of dropped, and a new term 
not including the offensive "psycho" term substituted; they are 
now called "stress-associated diseases," or "stress-associated" con- 

Every indication is that cancer is a stress-associated disease. 

With the above data in mind— is it ethical for any group of men 
to deny Krebiozen to an individual in the spot my telephone 
caller was in? 

The problem in this whole area of medical therapy is acutely 
emotional; that is why such exceedingly bad "science" as the 
FDA's Krebiozen report keeps showing up. It's long been known 
that human beings tend to count their successes carefully, and 
forget their misses— and to forget the other guy's successes, and 
count all his misses. The more intensely emotional the situation, 
the more powerfully that tendency is manifested. 

And medicine is the field where emotional forces are on a full 
par with objective forces. The problem is that that applies not 
only to the patient— but to the doctor as well. 

Let me put it this way: Consider two ideals of what a doctor 
should be. 

1. The patient wants a doctor whom he can trust not only as a 
wise and learned man, but as a friend in his time of trouble, a 
man with genuine sympathy and empathy— a man who is per- 
sonally and genuinely concerned for his patient's welfare. Simply 
—a doctor should be a man who cares what happens to his pa- 

2. The theoretical ideal of a doctor is a man who is highly 
trained, skilled, and intelligent, a man who thinks coolly and ob- 
jectively at all times, in all emergencies, who does not get flus- 
tered, and whose judgment is not warped by emotional factors. 


Look those two ideals over carefully— and you'll see at once 
that they are mutually exclusive. If a man cares— then he is in- 
fluenced by emotional factors. If he is cool and objective— then 
he is not warmly sympathetic. Moreover, he'll make a poor doctor 
—because the emotional factor is a critical factor in the therapy of 
the patient, and the "cool, objective thinker" specifically with- 
holds emotional warmth. 

Now anyone— in or out of the medical profession— will agree 
that there are always some cynical men who become doctors as 
a way of making a high income, and getting high social status. 
And that such men do not deserve the title "doctor." 

And if you think about it carefully, you'll recognize that the 
cynical, money-hungry, status-seeking m.d. will be coolly objec- 
tive in his evaluations, his judgment will not be warped by emo- 
tional involvements. He will, in other words, closely approximate 
the logical-theoretical ideal of what a doctor should be . . . and 
that no one wants for a therapist himself! 

Such a doctor is like a highly skilled mercenary soldier; he may 
be more skillful, more effective in the battle, than a true patriot 
dedicated to the cause. He fights coolly, effectively, and skill- 
fully—but entirely without loyalty or dedication. He wants his 
side to win, because that's the side that will pay him for his work. 

The man who is dedicated to a cause is, by definition, emo- 
tionally involved in it; his evaluations of that cause will not be 
objective. His judgment will be warped by his involvement. 

A parent can not judge his child objectively; an Englishman 
can't evaluate England's policies in the world objectively, any 
more than an American can evaluate ours objectively. And a true, 
dedicated healer-physician can not judge medicine objectively. 

Yet each of those— parent, Englishman, American and doctor- 
will be sincerely and honestly convinced that he is being objec- 

And emotional involvement will make a well-trained, highly- 
logical scientist become completely unreliable and unscientific. 

It's long been known that it is very unwise of a doctor to treat 
his own family; his hopes and fears— his emotional involvements 
—will warp his judgment under precisely the circumstances he 


most ardently wants to be most effective. It is not ill-intent that 
warps his judgment, but excess of deep concern! 

Strangely, a doctor could be more accurate in his evaluations 
when treating a man he despised than in treating his own wife or 

Only the money-hungry status-seeking cynic— the medical mer- 
cenary with high skill and no dedication— can remain objective! 

There's intense emotion on the part of the patients, too, of course; 
medicine is a matter of life and death, of health and crippling, of 
successful living or agony and slow death. No other success can 
have much value, if health is lost. 

This leads to another aspect of the problem, one that affects the 
medical mercenary as acutely as the dedicated doctor. In our cur- 
rent society, the concept of the Welfare State and Security has 
spread to a quite unsane degree. People now demand Security 
against Death and ill health. 

The Declaration of Independence was— as it openly states- 
prepared primarily as a propaganda document. It asserts that 
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are inalienable rights; 
this is a self-evident falsity. If they were inalienable, no one 
would ever have to defend them. The one truly inalienable right 
is the right to try— with no guarantee whatever of success. You 
have an inalienable right to try to live, to try to be free— but to- 
day, the Welfare-Security concept has promoted the concept that 
we should have those, that we should be guaranteed success in 
our efforts. 

And— that a doctor should guarantee that there is no risk in 
his therapy. 

The rise of that concept has led to more and more extreme 
malpractice suits. It used to be that if a woman was unfortunate 
enough to bear a Mongoloid idiot baby, she and her family would 
accept it as one of the risks of life and the life-process of repro- 

Now they sue the doctor. 

It used to be that if someone were unlucky and seriously in- 
jured in an automobile accident, they sued the driver who nearly 
killed them. 


Now they sue the doctor who stopped by the roadside and 
rendered first-aid treatment. 

Under this philosophy, Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan 
would have wound up with the injured man suing the Good 
Samaritan for restoration of the money the thieves took. 

This constitutes a problem for the medical-mercenary as well 
as the dedicated doctor. Such suits are always based on "second- 
guessing" the doctor on the job. "If he hadn't done . . . then I 
believe that . . ." is easy for the second-guessing doctor to say. 
( And a doctor willing to second-guess under those circumstances 
is always findable; the unskilled as well as undedicated medical 
mercenaries specialize in that as a source of income.) 

Some human beings are violently allergic to wheat, strawber- 
ries or bee stings. This does not prove that wheat, strawberries or 
bees are deadly, lethal, evil, intolerable, terrible things to be 
eliminated from the world. It proves that the guy's unlucky in 
that he doesn't fit the world very well. It's not the world's fault- 
it's his fault. 

But the man who turns up allergic to penicillin, thalidomide, 
MER-29, or some other new and highly useful drug— he sues the 

It's a refusal on the part of patients to acknowledge that the 
act of living involves risk— and he has to accept that risk. Oh, 
no! Not under the Welfare-Security philosophy! He feels he is 
guaranteed success and health. 

All of these factors focus in on the problem of new therapies, 
new drugs— plus one more. 

Back before Pasteur discovered germs, Semmelweis discovered 
a 99.9% successful method of stopping childbed fever. There 
was a hospital in Vienna, one half of which was run by nuns, 
and the other half by doctors. The incidence of childbed fever 
in the doctor's half of the hospital at times ran as high as 90%— 
nine out of every ten young women who came in to have their 
babies died of infection. The nuns had a far better record. 

The doctors didn't observe that fact particularly; the women of 
Vienna were acutely aware of it, however. ( The human tendency 
to count your hits, and forget your misses— while the women ob- 
served the misses a lot more actively. ) 


Semmelweis, studying the situation, came to the conclusion 
that the difference was that the doctors, as part of their routine, 
performed autopsies on the dead women; the nuns did not. Sem- 
melweis came to the completely false, crackpot notion that it was 
the odor of death on the doctors* hands that transmitted the dis- 
ease. It just happened that he picked, as his deodorizer, chlorine 
water. It did indeed deodorize the doctor's hands; also, quite 
unknown to Semmelweis, it was an extremely powerful antiseptic 
—the concentration he used would kill anything. 

At that time— about a century ago— it wasn't customary to wash 
the hospital sheets very often, either— until Semmelweis detected 
the "odor of death" there, too. "Wash 'em! And use chlorine 

The death rate from childbed fever among Semmelweis* pa- 
tients dropped from about 90% to 0.9%. 

For this, Semmelweis was thrown out of the hospital by the 
other doctors, and violently attacked and harassed by the medi- 
cal profession of Europe. 

Why? Because of a certain emotional factor involved. 

His work— his absolutely unarguable and shocking success- 
said "Doctor— healer!— you killed those young women. You 
killed them with your dirty hands. They didn't just Tiappen to 
die'; you killed them!" 

Semmelweis was, of course, a dedicated healer; he could not 
endure standing idly by, so he was very busily spreading the 
word to laymen— telling them not to let a doctor examine a 
woman unless he scrubbed his hands in chlorine water. 

There's the old saying "What you don't know won't hurt you." 
With respect to objective factors, that's obviously false. With re- 
spect to emotional things, however— it's true. So long as a doctor 
could hold off from his own mind the realization that it truly was 
his unclean hands that did it— then he did not have the grinding 
agony of regret. 

Of course, the medical-mercenary type wouldn't have such a 
reaction; they could be more objective, less emotional. They 
never had cared particularly anyway— and Semmelweis' tech- 
niques would assure them of more patients. (Except for that 
damnable chlorine water; scrubbing in the stuff ruined the hands 


and devastated the fingernails. But it might presently be found 
that a dilute perfume— diluted with the usual 70% alcohol solvent 
—removed the odor of death just about as effectively. ) 

Of course, the Philosophical Logical Ideal doctors wouldn't re- 
sist Semmelweis' new idea; they wouldn't react to emotional fac- 
tors like regret or remorse or guilt. And such men wouldn't be 
doctors worthy of the name, either. 

In summary, then, the true, dedicated doctor, by the very na- 
ture of his dedication, cannot be an objective scientist; he cannot 
evaluate new proposed therapies objectively because he is dedi- 
cated—has a loyalty to his art. And he will have powerful emo- 
tional blocks against learning such lessons as Semmelweis taught, 
which show unmistakably that the doctor himself has been kill- 
ing his patients through ignorance. 

On top of that, the modern attitude that the patient has a right 
to perfect security, puts the doctor under terrific pressure to re- 
frain from any new therapy. 

Now let's consider for a moment what's meant by a "quack" in 
the medical field. 

The usual charge is that a quack is someone who uses an im- 
proper treatment, one which does not help, or actually injures the 
patient, while inducing the patient to pay for this mistreatment, 
and keeping the patient from going to a licensed doctor and 
getting the treatment he needs. That a quack is in the business 
solely to make money at the expense of suffering humanity. 

Now any time A disapproves of B emotionally, he'll attrib- 
ute B's actions to some generally demeaned motivation— "just for 
money" being the most common, with "just for his own pleasure" 
being runner-up. 

Let's be a bit objective about this business of what a quack 
does. Suppose a man, calling himself Dr. Jones, treats a patient 
who has a lethal disease, and uses a method that he knows for a 
positive fact will not save the man's life. He charges fees, and sees 
to it that the patient doesn't go to any other therapist— just gives 
him some drugs that do not save him, but let him die slowly. 

That set of actions fulfills exactly what the AMA accuses those 
awful, nasty, wicked quacks of doing. 


It is also precisely what an AMA doctor does when he treats 
a leukemia patient; he knows that the standard treatments for 
leukemia do not work, do not save lives. Leukemia, treated by 
AMA methods, means death. 

The AMA, moreover, does everything in its power to make it 
impossible for the victim to get treatment from any other thera- 
pist who might be able to do better, and most certainly couldn't 
be less effective. 

The patient will, moreover, wind up broke, and his family in 
debt— a charge constandy leveled against those wicked quacks! 
—by the time he dies. 

But this is not quackery, of course. 

Why not? Because the doctors know they are doing their best, 
with the best of intentions— which is strictly an emotional state- 

How about an unlicensed non-M.D. who does his best, with the 
best of intentions— despite the AMA's convictions that he must 
be evil— and actually does better than the AMA's best? 

Oh ... I see. That never happens, huh . . . ? 

Well, it hasn't yet been proven for leukemia . . . but how about 
that unlicensed non-M.D.— that charlatan, that fraud, who'd gotten 
crackpot ideas from studying silk-worms and wineries, no less!— 
who started treating human beings for rabies? That chemist, with 
only half a brain, Louis Pasteur? 

Or how about that licensed m.d. charlatan, expelled from the 
hospital and the medical society— Semmelweis? 

Or take a few other notorious quacks like Lister— who was most 
violently attacked for his temerity in opening the abdomens of 
living patients. (Ethical doctors of the time never opened the 
abdomen until after the patient died.) And Ehrlich, another 
chemist, who invented the concept of chemotherapy. 

Every time someone outside— or even inside!— the field of medi- 
cine brings up a break-through discovery, he'll be labeled a 
quack. The field is too emotional. 

He'll be charged with being a fraud, a charlatan out after 
money, a blood-sucking leech. 

Hoxsey had something that appeared to help cancer cases. 
Standard Operating Procedure of the AMA is to deny it, and 


charge the innovator with being a fraud, a charlatan, a money- 
seeking leech . . . 

Hoxsey sued the AMA, Dr. Morris Fishbein, their President, 
and the Hearst newspapers which published the statement, for 
libel. He won the case. 

Whether his cure actually worked or not was never investi- 
gated; the AMA flatly refused to test it. 

But the question of whether Hoxsey was a charlatan, a de- 
liberate fraud, was tested. He wasn't. Whether he did, in fact, 
have a cure has nothing whatever to do with whether or not he 
was a fraud; a fraud is someone who knowingly and deliberately 
misstates facts. Hoxsey had excellent evidence to lead him to the 
conclusion that his cure worked; that fact alone is complete 
and final proof that he was not illy or fraudulently motivated. 

Look— let's be objective. Hoxsey may have been wrong— but 
the AMA doctor who treats leukemia by methods he knows will 
not save the patient's life seems to me in a damn poor position to 
call Hoxsey a quack. Hoxsey didn't know he couldn't save lives, 
and did, in fact, have a lot of reason to believe he could. And 
Hoxsey wasn't urging the passing of laws that would prevent the 
victim of such a disease from even trying to get help elsewhere. 

As I say— this whole business is a mass of tangled, boiling, vio- 
lent emotions. Does intent count in such matters? How much 
should it count? How do you know a man's real intentions? The 
medical mercenary intends to make money and gain status— and 
he may be the most highly skilled, highly competent surgeon in 
the city. Another man may be deeply dedicated, completely 
sincere . . . and unfortunately just not really bright. He lacks the 
spark that makes real surgeons. So here is one man with the 
"evil" intention of making money, the medical mercenary, and 
another who has the best of intentions. And— should we say the 
incompetent man is a better doctor? 

I propose a new approach to this problem. 

Let's license quacks. We'll make it wide open; anyone what- 
ever, with no qualifications required save only that he be over 
twenty-one, and never committed to an institution for insanity, 
can apply for and get a license to set up in business as a medical 


Here's why: If a doctor diagnoses a man and tells him "The 
disease you have will kill you within three months; there is noth- 
ing that we can do to save you. All we can do is give you drugs 
to ease your pain, and perhaps prolong your life a little," that man 
is unsane if he does not seek some other therapist. And a man 
does have an inalienable right to try to live; you may try to stop 
him, but you'll have to lock him up to prevent his trying to find 
someone who will offer him some hope. 

The fact that there are conditions which can be diagnosed, but 
which can not be cured by medicine today— and there always 
will be, no doubt!— is the fundamental reason why there are, and 
always will be quacks. 

A quack is a man who thinks he can help conditions medicine 
cannot help. A man like Louis Pasteur, treating the Russian vic- 
tims of rabies with a new technique no doctor in Paris would 
touch— treating them at the risk of a trial for murder, if they 

Not all quacks are evil men. And there is a definite place for 
quackery! The area where medicine is competent to diagnose, 
and helpless to cure. If medical science can't help— then by all 
that's honest and ethical, they should damn well acknowledge it, 
step aside, and let someone else try! 

Try a witch doctor, a faith healer, a numerologist— try a herb- 
alist, or a chemist with a theory, or maybe a nuclear physicist. 
When you have nothing to lose, and life to win— try anything! 

And don't talk about money! Whenever emotions start running 
high— and they always do, everywhere, in medical problems!— 
the business of money charges gets thrown in as the triumphant 
"That proves they're wrong! They do it for money!" 

Have you taken a look at a standard AMA hospital and doctor 
bills for a couple of months of cancer treatment, with death of the 
patient? Talk about money! See, that proves they're just doing it 
for the money, huh? 

Drop that money nonsense out of the thing; it's a question- 
begging argument from start to finish. 

On the patient's side, he has a right to try anything he chooses; 
the organized medical groups have no right to deny him the 
right to try. 


But there's a doctor's side, too. We're going to license these 
quacks— but it will be strictly, publicly, and thoroughly under- 
stood that it's a matter of "When you choose to gamble— you can't 
whine if you lose your bet." The quack is absolutely immune to 
suits for malpractice. Legally declared totally irresponsible for 
any deaths, crippling, or disasters that may result from his treat- 

This is simply putting into formal, legal and publicly stated 
terms what exists in fact anytime a man goes to a quack; it is the 
patient's responsibility to choose his own quack— and to take his 
licking if he gets licked. 

But this means that a licensed m.d., a qualified man with a 
new theory, a new therapy to try out can also take out a license 
as a quack. He can hang out his shingle as "Thomas R. Brown, 
m.d., Licensed Quack Specializing in . . ." whatever it may be 
he's researching. 

This would give the doctor a chance to do experimental work, 
and get out from under that insane business of unlimited mal- 
practice suits. If the patient insists on Security— he goes only to 
tried-and-true, standardized-technique licensed doctors. If he 
has a disease in which the standard therapies don't work— he can 
take his choice of being perfectly secure in his dying, or sticking 
his neck out and taking a chance on a new therapy. 

There's a third side to this system though— Society as a whole. 
And Society as a whole will benefit enormously from a system of 
licensed quackery. 

Quackery always has existed; it exists now— and it always will 
exist, for the reasons given above. Diagnosis always precedes 
therapy; diagnostic techniques will always exist before thera- 
peutic techniques have been able to cure the newly diagnosed 
conditions. In that twilight zone, quackery exists. 

Now, however, quackery is illegal— a hit-and-run business 
pretty largely. No undercover operation can keep good records, 
and what records it does keep aren't communicated. 

Let's license the quacks . . . and make them keep extremely 
careful records. They'll be the most useful research records Man- 
kind has ever assembledl Evm if tbs quack himself doesn't learn 


anything, other men very well may, from studying the records. 
Now, the quacks are unlicensed, and, therefore, unlimited. 
(They aren't even limited to over twenty-one and no-recorded- 
insanityl) Licensed, they can be limited in a number of ways— 
but the ways will not include any requirement of degrees or 
previous training. Put on such limitations, and the unlicensed 
quacks will immediately pop up where their records won't be 
available, and their activities will be unrestrained. The only re- 
straint will have to do with two matters of statistics: 

1. Only patients diagnosed as having diseases or conditions 
which standard medical records show to be, say, seventy-five 
per cent or higher lethal under known treatments will be auto- 
matically free to go to a quack if they want to. If the disease or 
condition is nonlethal, and has a zero cure rate— some skin dis- 
eases for example— the patient can ask for and must be given a 
pass to present to a licensed quack. The patient, not the doctor 
must determine this— because patients who want to go to quacks 
and are denied the pass will supply a group to maintain un- 
licensed and unrecorded quacks. But it gives the doctor a chance 
to point out to a girl with a disfiguring and incurable skin con- 
dition that while a quack might cure it— he's also quite apt to kill 

But . . . any quack caught treating someone who does not 
have such a pass loses his license, and gets jailed. 

2. The statistics on the quack's records are studied periodi- 
cally. If his death rate is higher than the death rate under stand- 
ard treatment— he gets shut down. We want better, not worse, 

The gain to the Society as a whole is that, by such a system, a 
huge number of things that might work can be explored with the 
full co-operation and free permission of the self-assigned human 
guinea pigs. No man has to go to a licensed quack; it's his deci- 
sion to be a human guinea pig. And in the process, we can learn 
a great deal about a lot of things that don't work— and thereby 
eliminate duplication of that useless effort. 

There's a lot of emotionalism tied up in that concept of the 
human test subjects, of course. Doctors, when fulminating against 
quacks, have horrid things to say about such things. 


But dedicated doctors, knowing the importance and good in- 
tent of what they were doing, aren't so upset when doctors in a 
major New York hospital, inject live human cancer tissue into 
human patients without the knowledge or consent of the pa- 

That's different! That was for a good purpose, and they knew 
what they were doing! 

Actually, it's pretty clear, the definition of "quack" is "someone 
I believe to be dangerous, evil, destructive and unprincipled." 

Trouble is— the term "quack" was— in their own place and 
time— violently hurled at many men we consider today among the 
greatest medical heroes. Jenner— Harvey— Ross— Lister— Pasteur— 
Ehrlich— Sister Kenny— even Roentgen, who didn't even try to 
practice medicine! 

One very certain thing about the field of medicine: it is not, 
and never will be a field of objective science. It's too deeply 
dominated by emotional factors. 

June 1964 


There is one area where Science and Religion become rather 
completely confused. Now basically, a Religion has to do with 
the nonmaterial side of Man s being; it is rooted in Faith— belief 
rather than objective evidence— and deals almost entirely with 
Man's emotional and moral structure. Its truths are revealed by 
Prophets after introspection and revelations from God ( or Gods ) . 

There's one area where Science becomes almost inextricably 
entangled in Religion— that area of Science that seeks to deal with 
Man's nonmaterial self, with his emotions and morality rather 
than his physical self. Psychology is the study of the Psyche, or 
Spirit, or Soul. 

I don't like to attack any man's religion— but when a should- 
be science acts on Faith in the Revelations of a Prophet without 
reevaluation . . . 

I suggest that the Great Prophet Freud needs some reevalua- 
tion at a considerably deeper level than the minuscule modifica- 
tions that are currently acceptable among psychotherapists. 

Consider this: Dr. Freud did his early investigations, on 
which his great theories of the universal underlying drives in all 
Mankind are based, among (1) largely Jewish people in (2) 
Vienna, ( 3 ) during the most extremely prudish period of Western 
culture. That is, among a cultural enclave in the midst of a mid- 
European city, during the midst of a very unusually prudish cul- 
tural period. 

From this he derived as the Great Basic of all Mankind's mo- 
tivations, Sex, and as the central conflict of all people, the Oedipus 

Now it happens that in the traditional Jewish culture, the 
mother is a powerfully dominant figure in the home— in effect, 
the Jewish culture is matriarchic. And the period in which Freud's 
patients were oriented was known as the Victorian Period, be- 


cause of the tremendous influence that Britain's great Queen 
exerted over the entire world of her time. 

I cannot help wondering what great universal motivations 
Freud would have found if he had studied patients among an 
equally restricted group of the Polynesians of Tahiti, say. There, 
there are almost no sexual inhibitions. 

Freud didn't discover that a motivation other than Sex existed 
until about 1918— when he discovered the Death Wish. ( He'd be- 
gun getting patients who'd been through that form of hell known 
as War— men to whom Sex was a less immediate problem than 
staying alive.) 

The old question "Which leg of a three-legged stool is the most 
important?" has a practical answer. "The one that's missing." 

From the cultural peculiarities of the "Gay '90s," Freud dis- 
covered the "missing leg" of Sex, and decided that that was the 
One Fundamental Motivation of All Mankind Everywhere. 

Wonder what he'd have discovered as the Universal Motiva- 
tion of Mankind if he'd done his studies entirely among the Dobu 
Islanders? Their culture holds that paranoid efforts to murder 
your neighbors by black magic— "Every man a wizard!"— is the 
normal way of life. They are poor, unfortunate individuals who 
have become insane and actually trust other peoplel These would, 
of course, have been Freud's abnormal neurotic patients there. 

It seems, at first glance, that Freud's insistence on Sex in the 
ultra-prudish period of the 1890s- 1900s showed great intellectual 
courage, to so fly in the face of his culture. 

That's somewhat open to question. Did he, actually, attack the 
beliefs of his period? Or did he, rather, support them? That is, re- 
member that the prudes of the time held that Sex was the Source 
of All Evil and Awful things. And what Freud appeared to them 
to be saying was that Sex was the cause of insanity and neurosis 
—wherefore the most violent prudes could happily chortle "See! 
See! We told you Sex was Evil! Now you know we were right! 
The great Dr. Freud has proven that it's nasty Sex that causes 
insanity, just as we said all along!" 

Be that as it may, doing his research on a cultural enclave, in a 
Central European city, during an exceptionally prudish period, 
he ( surprise! surprise! ) found that Sex was the Universal Under- 

"the laws of things 125 

lying Motivation. Not until the terrors of World War I drastically 
altered the cultural orientation around him did he discover 
any other motivation! 

As of 1890-1900, modern cultural anthropology was barely be- 
ginning to get rolling. The use of statistical methods in analysis 
in the living sciences had not yet been accepted. (Gregor 
Mendel had been completely rejected for trying to use mathe- 
matical methods— statistics— in biology only a short while before, 
and his analytical method hadn't yet been fully accepted. ) 

Of course computer technology, logic circuit equations, and 
concepts of negative feedback loops were still a half-century in 
the future. 

The immense dominance of European culture over all others 
in the world of 1890 made a central European "know" that "lesser 
breeds without the law" had weird customs, but that those weren't 
really human— weren't really relevant to the Universal Laws of 
Human Psyches. 

Another aspect of Freud's theories that were very acceptable 
in that period was that the motivational systems Freud discovered 
were unique to human beings; that animals didn't have those 
characteristics. (And that, of course, is appropriate to the Science 
of the Psyche, because everyone knows that only Men have 

Then there are immense areas of both experimental- 
physiological and intellectual-analysis that have been opened 
up since Freud did his work— which have not been integrated 
with Freudian concepts, nor used to check the validity of the 
Freudian ideas. 

Information Theory didn't exist in the 1890s. No one had, 
then, studied the micro-structure of the nerve-message pathways 
in the nervous system. The nature and limitations of Logic and 
logical analysis weren't understood. ( Goedel's Proof that showed 
that Logic could not solve all problems hadn't been developed. ) 

And, finally, as of 1900, of course, Freud's theories hadn't been 
tried out in practice on actual neurotic patients all over the world 
for half a century. 

There are, in Freudian Beliefs, things like "Oral Eroticism." 


Since all motivation must be either Sex or Death Wish, and Sex, 
of course, dominates, any observed behavioral phenomena must 
be "eroticism" of some sort. Freud observed that people like to put 
things in their mouths, to suck thumbs, soda straws, cigars, ciga- 
rettes, candies, et cetera, and to show acute interest in their 
mouths. Since Sex and only Sex underlies motivation, this is, 
obviously and inescapably— unless you escape Freud— Oral Eroti- 

Of course, Freud wasn't aware of the violent psychic disturb- 
ances that result from sensory deprivation. The experiments 
hadn't been made at that time. Put a man in an environment 
where he can neither hear, see, feel, smell, touch, or taste any- 
thing—and within hours he begins to have hallucinations, becomes 
aware that his mental processes are disintegrating into uncontrol- 
lable unreality and madness. Sensory mechanisms need sen- 
sory inputs of some sort to fulfill their functions— and to stabilize 
the normal reality-checking motivation that real human minds 
actually have. 

Now the mouth happens to be one of Man's primary sensory 
organs— and a very complex one indeed. It's the primary center 
of taste— and is, in addition, an acutely sensitive tactile organ, 
surpassing in that respect even the sensitivity of the fingers. 

It is, also, the one and only Input to the Organism for solid 
or liquid substances. Small children frequently experiment with 
solid-substance inputs into the ears or nose, but usually learn 
quickly and painfully that those are not input stations. 

But since Freud had no knowledge of Information Theory, 
or sensory deprivation experiments, and had the Great Revelation 
that all men everywhere always had Sex as the One Motivation, 
naturally it had to be Oral Eroticism. 

Another one of Freud's Great Revelations was that there existed 
a Subconscious Mind, and it was conflicts between the Subcon- 
scious Mind and the Conscious Mind that led to neurotic com- 

Kant, some while earlier, had used the term "Categorical Im- 
perative" instead of "compulsive or repressive"; the essential 
process was recognized in either case. For Kant, this "categorical 
imperative" was caused "by means of a function." 


And Kepler, in stating the laws of planetary motion had recog- 
nized that there was gravity and inertia; Newton's great advance 
was to give precise mathematically defined expression to the 
Functions by means of which the planetary motions were impera- 
tively determined. 

Freud repeated Kant's observations in somewhat different 
wording— but without the sort of increased precision that New- 
ton added to Kepler's realizations. 

For some five thousand years of record preceding Freud, too, 
there had been recognition of the ka, psyche, spirit, geist, soul or 
whatever the local time-and-place term might be as a part of Man 
that was immaterial, analogous to the mind, but was not the 
same thing as mind. 

Freud gave it a new name, but there was little change in the 
realization that this psyche was able to exert powerful and, at 
times, compulsive force over the mind of man. 

Freud's greatest— and real— contribution probably was the speci- 
fic, solid statement that the subconscious compulsions were gen- 
uinely compulsions; that an individual could not resist them— 
that it wasn't "unwillingness" or "stubbornness" or "weakness" 
that caused an individual to yield to the compulsions. That the 
psychotic paranoid who murdered a dozen neighbors due to his 
compulsions was no more able to resist that internally-generated 
pressure, than a martyr was able to choose not to be martyred by 
renouncing his beliefs. 

The Ego, the Id, and the Super-Ego might also be named with 
somewhat older terms as the Mind (Ego) and the Conscience 
(Super-Ego) while the Id is perhaps a confusion of two other 
factors— the ancient instinctive wisdom of the race, and the third- 
factor effect of the interaction of Mind— which is logical and 
present-time based— and Conscience— which is acculturation, and 
neither logical nor present-time based. 

Actually, of course, large parts of Conscience-acculturation 
agree one hundred per cent with large areas of the ancient racial 
instincts. In such areas, naturally, the culture claims that it, and 
it alone is the source of those Great Good Ideas. Where accultura- 
tion and racial wisdom disagree, naturally the culture insists 


that that is "nothing but evil old instincts which must be sup- 

When conscience-acculturation demands the logically impos- 
sible, or irrational, naturally there's a conflict between it and 
Mind. (But acculturation will never acknowledge that it is 
wrong! ) 

However, we're dealing here, quite obviously, with the area 
of Morality— which Religion has always claimed for its own. And, 
of course, with most intense emotional areas— which have, from 
the findings of anthropologists, been the province of the witch- 
doctor-priest for at least two hundred thousand years. 

Whether you say you are working with a man's Super-Ego or 
say you're treating his Soul is a distinction of verbal noises— un- 
less you can define the difference in clear, functional terms. And 
if you claim that psychoanalysis is a Scientific Approach, rather 
than a priesdy-witch-doctor method, that claim, too, needs some 
specific, functional definition. 

It does appear though, that a "Scientific Approach" stemming 
from the revelations provided by one man, who derived his great 
basic realization of the Universal Motivation of All Mankind by 
studying a cultural enclave, in a central European city during an 
exceptionally prudish era, needs considerable reevaluation. 

I can't help wondering what great revelations of fundamental 
human emotional structure would have come from Freud if he'd 
grown up among, and worked with, Dobu Islander patients. Sex 
being uninhibited among the Dobu Islanders, it wouldn't have 
appeared as the critical "missing leg"; whether he'd have called 
their culture of mutual murder motivation a death-wish culture or 
a security-seeking culture I can't decide. But on observing that 
men like to use their mouths— Kipling had made that observation 
before Freud!— a Dobu Island Freud would certainly not have 
spoken of "Oral Eroticism." "Oral Morbidity" possibly, or perhaps 
"Oral Security-seeking." 

Naturally, I'm ever so much wiser than Freud on these things; 
hindsight is sooooo much more perceptive than foresight. Any 
high-school kid today is wiser than Aristode, too. I've got a 
slightly unfair advantage consisting of two generations of world- 


wide efforts by anthropologists, archeologists and historians, plus 
the immense amount of work done by cyberneticists, Information 
Theory analysts, the space-scientists working on sensory depriva- 
tion—and the statistics of what's actually happened with patients 
treated with psychoanalysis during the last half-century. 

My objections are not to Freud; he was a genuinely sincere and 
highly important philosopher of the mind. 

My objections are to the Freudians— who have the same half- 
century advantages I have, and haven't adequately used them. 
Freud didn't know about Information Theory and sensory depriva- 
tion effects; he didn't have the data of a half-century of cultural 
anthropology to use in studying out the true, universal-to-Man- 
kind motivations. 

The modern Freudians do have that data. 

Why don't they use it— when they also have the data from 
their own statistics that the recovery rate among psychoanalytical 
patients is not significantly different from the recovery rate 
among untreated patients? 

Statistics on the recovery rate among patients treated by which 
doctors are somewhat hard to come by, of course. But the re- 
ports from cultural anthropologists indicate that perhaps the witch 
doctors have significantly better therapy techniques. 

The greatest improvement in psychotherapy since records have 
been kept seems to have come about since the adoption of a 
physiological approach, thanks to learning from the Hindu herb 
doctors that tranquilizer substances exist. 

It is, of course, improper to attack a man's religion; with the 
witch doctors, we would be dealing with the native religion. 

I hope I have not, in this discussion, attacked anyone's re- 
ligious faith. 

June 1965 



IVe had an opportunity to learn a little about a project now 
under way at the Harvard Computer Lab; the men engaged in it 
do not, probably, have the same opinions about it that I have 
formed. We'll find out later whether my hunches regarding it 
are valid. 

I have a feeling the job now started will snowball for the next 
century or so— and that they have started on the most important 
basic project Man has ever tackled. 

They're studying the problem of teaching a computing machine 
to translate English to Russian, and Russian to English. 

It's my belief that, in the process, they will solve about ninety 
per cent of Mankind's social, psychological, economic and po- 
litical problems. The computers won't solve the problems— but 
they'll force the men working on them to solve them. 

Reason: You can NOT say to a computer "You know what I 
mean . . ." The computer would only reply, "No. Define you.' 
Define loiow.' Define T.' Define mean.' Operation-relational pro- 
cesses regarding these terms not available." 

All right, friend— go ahead. Define "I." Define it in terms of 
function and relationship to the Universe. Define it in terms of 
characteristics of process and program the steps the computer is 
to take in interacting this concept "I" with the operational pro- 
gram steps meant by the concept "know." Just do that one, single 
little thing, just define that one pair of terms— and you'll resolve 
about seventy-five per cent of all human problems. 

Korzybski was a piker. He tried to teach human beings, who 
have built-in automatic self-programming units. They may not be 
perfect, but they work with incredible efficiency. 

Try teaching a computing machine what you mean by some 
nice, simple term like "food." There's a good, basic, simple idea— 
an item basic to the most elementary understandings of life proc- 


esses, politics, sociology, psychology and economics. This is one 
that must be included, obviously. 

Anthony Oettinger, one of the men working on the project, 
explained part of the problem very neatly and completely by 
telling of one phase of the difficulty. Suppose we take a common 
English saying, and translate it into Chinese. Now if translation 
were perfect, we should be able to retranslate to English and 
recover the original phrase. Actually, in one instance, the retrans- 
lation yields "invisible idiot/' Guess what went in originallyl It's 
a perfectly understandable result; after all, something that is in- 
visible, is out of sight— and an idiot is one who is out of mind. It 
could equally have come out "hidden maniac' or "distant mad- 

Translation cannot be done on a word basis; we dont use 
words, actually, but concepts. Translating word-by-word would 
be only slightly more rewarding than transliterating letter by 
letter. The Russian alphabet is different from ours; that doesn't 
mean that transliterating yields English. Neither does a word-for- 
word substitution, save in the simplest level of statement. 

The Chinese-English saying translation above indicates the real 
difficulty— and one that General Semantics hasn't adequately rec- 
ognized, I feel. Actually, in communicating with each other, we 
seek to communicate concepts; concepts are complex structures 
of many individual parts assembled in a precise relationship. If 
someone asked a chemist for sugar, and the chemist delivered a 
pile of carbon and two small flasks of hydrogen and oxygen— 
everything necessary for sugar is present, but it's not sugar. 

Let's consider "food" a moment. Presumably we are seeking to 
achieve sane translations of sane human thinking from our com- 
puter. Under these conditions should we teach the machine to 
consider that human flesh is to be considered "food"? 

Yes. A sane man must realize that his flesh is food— otherwise 
he would make the mistake of swimming in shark-infested waters, 
or ignore lions and other major carnivora. 

Is wood "food"? 

Yes; an engineer must realize that fact when he considers 


constructing buildings. Otherwise he would neglect the possi- 
bilities of termite damage. 

Is steel "food"? 

We must so instruct the computer; otherwise it could not 
translate "We must have steel scrap to feed our hungry furnaces." 

Very well, gentlemen, what do you mean when you consider 
the concepts in "foods," "feed," and "eat"? Define your terms! 

The sociologists and psychologists have long maintained that 
mathematical methods are not applicable to human problems. Not 
until the terms in which human problems are discussed have been 
defined operationally, certainly. 

Teaching a computing machine, a machine that will invariably 
do precisely, but only, what you did-in-fact instruct it to do will be 
a most humbling task. In the course of doing that job, I foresee 
the collapse of every human philosophy, the harsh winnowing 
of every human falsity, every slightest quibble, self-justification, 
or rationalization. 

When a man is seeking to induce another man to agree with 
him, to learn his ideas, he can hold "he is stubborn; he refuses 
to understand me because he hates me." Or "He is too stupid to 

When a man seeks to teach a computer . . . 

Computers are not stubborn. If it is stupid, it is the failure of 
the man to perfect his handiwork, and the failure reflects ines- 
capably to its source in Man. If it acts in a foggy, confused man- 
ner—Man made the mistake, and he must correct it. It's his 
mistake; responsibility cannot be assigned elsewhere. 

Man, in trying to teach his tender and precious beliefs to a 
computing machine, is inviting the most appallingly frank and 
inescapable criticism conceivable. The computing machines 
won't solve human problems for us— but they'll force men to a 
degree of rigid self-honesty and humility that never existed be- 

I can imagine some philospher, some psychologist, or some 
physicist coming spluttering to the computer lab, demanding that 
the nonsensical answers so blatantly in disregard of the facts- 
as-he-believes them be corrected. "Out of the way; let someone 


who knows something about this field teach this machine a few 

Three weeks later, a haggard and vastly humbled man would 
come out, his fine structure of beliefs in tatters— and possessed 
of a realization of his own need to learn a few real realities. 

I have heard psychologists use the term "ego," the terms "id" 
and "identity." IVe looked, with some interest, in an Encyclopedia 
of Psychology; there is no entry under any one of those terms, no 
effort, even, to define them. 

Have you ever sought a definition of "distance" as used in 
physics? It's one of the three fundamentals of the CGS system— 
and has no definition whatever. Define your terms, the com- 
puter relentlessly demands. The mathematician has no definition 
for "quantity" or "distance" either. Cantor has proved mathe- 
matically that any line segment has as many points— aleph null- 
as any other line, however long or short, or as any plane. Then 
define what you mean by "greater than" or "less than"! Until 
you do, the whole structure rests on "You know what I mean . . ." 

The computer does not "know what you mean." Define it! 

A while back I ran a faulty "syllogism" going, essentially, 
"Biology holds no organism can five in a medium of its own 
products. Communism holds a man has a right to what he pro- 
duces. Therefore, Communism won't work." It was thrown in as 
a deliberate inducement to thinking and questioning of terms. 
Most of those who answered— some quite angrily, incidentally!— 
held that the flaw lay in the misuse of the terms "products" and 

There's a flaw all right— but that's not it. The computer would 
have spotted it immediately; only we humans have difficulty in 
finding it. 

The products of an organism are quite artificially divided into 
"products" and "by-products" and "waste products." As industry 
long since learned, a waste product is something we haven't 
learned a use for yet, and a by-product is a misleading term. 
What is the product of Street & Smith Publications, Incorporated, 
for instance? Street & Smith, like the National Biscuit Company, 
assembles materials, packages them, and distributes them. Rum- 

'YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN . . . 137 

ford Press, which prints this magazine, like the American Can 
Company, or Container Corporation, makes packages. 

You hold in your hand a physical package, packed with word- 
structured concepts. You buy a tiling of paper, ink, and metal and 
glue— just as you buy a thing of glass, metal and plastic when 
you buy a radio tube. In each case, the object is merely a package- 
structure for the function which you really desire. 

Any organism will smother in any of its own products if pre- 
sent in excess; a waste product is one present either in excess 
of the usable amount, or one which is not usable. 

Any organism— including the organism known as a "state" or 
"nation"— will smother in an excess of its own ill-regulated and 
ill-distributed products. The basic biological law is perfectly ap- 
plicable to a state, or a society. 

The flaw in the false syllogism is the one the computer would 
have spotted immediately. 

"Define the term right'!" 

This is the distributive term in the syllogism, and is so unde- 
fined as to be meaningless. The falsity of the syllogism is equiva- 
lent to that in "All men are human beings. Some human beings 
are mortal. Therefore all men are mortal." The flaw in that syl- 
logism is the faulty distributive term in the second statement. 

But when it comes to "right," human beings are very, very skit- 
tish indeed. They're too apt to find that some of their pet beliefs 
and personal preferences will be ruled out if they accept any hard, 
clean-cut definition of "right." 

Since a machine has no rights to begin with, no beliefs, preju- 
dices, preferences or foibles, it will most unkindly and uncom- 
promisingly refuse to operate at all until you define what you 
mean by "right." 

I have a deep conviction that a vastly humbled and chastened 
—but vastly improved!— humanity will result from the effort to 
teach a machine what Man believes. 

The terribly tough part about it is that to do it, Man will, for 
the first time, have to find out exactly what he does believe— and 
make coherent, integrated sense of it! 

August 1953 


From the strong response in letters received after the recent 
editorial on logic, I gather you like questioning the whole sub- 
ject. Obviously, I do too. So . . . let's try another approach, and 
see if we can't find something somewhat different from either 
the A or non-A business. 

Let's define logic as "one of the methods of rational thinking." 
Conventionally, "logical" and "rational" have been considered 
synonymous; evidently that's stretching the meaning of logic quite 
a bit, or else using an exceedingly peculiar definition that's based 
on the individual's viewpoint on the matter at a particular time 
and/or place. I suggest that there are several other methods of 
rational thinking, and that neither Aristotelian nor non-A is ade- 
quate—that, in other words, logic is necessary but not sufficient. 

You can get some most peculiar effects from considering data 
that is true, and nothing but the truth. For instance, it is perfectly 
true that I habitually come from my suburban home into New 
York City floating about four feet off the ground. I don't come 
down to Earth— and that's a true statement. 

The fact that there's a train between me and the ground is, 
however, the rest of the truth. Frequently the truth and nothing 
but the truth is a particularly vicious kind of He, because it can 
not be disproven or attacked in any way. I could, for instance, 
get twenty or thirty witnesses to confirm my statement that I came 
into New York without once touching Earth, and no witness 
could be found who could testify otherwise. 

Logic has been based on the use of high-probability data; 
actually, the concept "true" and "false" can be interpreted as 
"probability of truth equals 1.000" and "probability of truth equals 
zero." It's mighty easy to evaluate data when the data can be 
classified in that nice, easy, put-up-or-shut-up manner. A relay is 
either open or closed— provided the contacts aren't dirty, and 


haven't welded together. A man is either alive or dead— until we 
find out how to suspend animation. A star either is visible out 
there in space, or it isn't— unless it's one of an eclipsing binary 

The unfortunate fact of the Universe is that, as Information 
Theory shows, the real physical Universe contains noise, and 
always will contain noise. There is no statement of Probability 
1.000, and no statement of Probability Zero— save in the non- 
physical system of theoretical discussion. 

The interesting and necessary conclusion from that fact is that 
mathematics, like Euclidean geometry, does not apply to the 
real Universe; mathematics is a noise-free system, and therefore 
cannot be congruent with the real, noise-containing Universe. And 
there cannot ever be any exact science that is congruent with 
the real Universe. No computing machine can ever be built which 
is both constructed of real physical components, and is congruent 
with the system of mathematics; the machine can only be tan- 
gential to the field of mathematics, because it, being physical, 
must contain noise, while the system of mathematics does not. 

One consequence of that is that any real physical computer 
will, inevitably, have breakdowns. The observed fact is that they 

Now I have done a great deal of my thinking on the basis of 
inadequate data, inaccurate data, using as data the fact that there 
was a lack-of-data, and that the data-is-inadequate. In the field of 
logic, which hs been confined to high-probability data, that 
sounds like a prescription for "How to think in a sloppy and im- 
proper manner." It isn't. But it will get you into some highly frus- 
trating arguments, since the method of thinking involved is not 
accepted generally. 

Consider this: An ordinary silk thread cannot support the 
weight of an automobile. This is an easily demonstrated fact. I can 
prove, then, that this specific thread, #1, cannot do it. Neither 
can thread #2, which I can test and prove inadequate. Neither 
can thread #3, which likewise fails under test. Nor thread #4, 
#5, #6, . . . #n. You see, I have proven that there is not one 
single bit of evidence which you can show me that silk thread 
will support an automobile. I can break down every single piece 


of evidence you bring up. Not one of those one hundred thousand 
threads you brought up as evidence that silk could support an 
automobile would actually stand up on examination, and that 
proves that you cannot lift an automobile with a silk cable. 

I suggest that, in addition to the standard, conventional logical 
argument, there is also a quite different thing— the gestalt argu- 
ment. The argument in which there is not one single argument 
of any useful strength— but in which there are many, many lines 
of argument which, as a gestalt, are more powerful than any 
single argument could be! 

This is argument based on barely significant data, improbable 
data, inaccurate or inadequate data— which is, none the less, a 
completely sound argument. In terms of probability, it can be 
put this way: 

Suppose there are ten steps, a sequence of ten dependent events. 
Each individual step has a probability of 0.1. We can represent 
this as "if A, then (0.1 B):: if B, then (0.1 C):: if . . ." et cetera. 

Now in such an event sequence of ten steps, the product 
probability of the tenth step will be 10 ~ 10 — one chance in ten bil- 

The above argument is a logical argument— i.e., a one-line- 
of-development argument. But let's consider a gestalt argument 
on the same subject. 

It's true that the probabilities are such that "if A, 0.1B" applies 
on one line of development. But it happens that there is also 
"if A, then (0.05A')" and also "if A, then (0.08 A") and "if A' 
or A", then (0.5B)" applies. And in addition, there are several 
other sequences involving A-to-A'-A"-to-B and a lot of other 
routes. In addition, there are various crossovers from B to side- 
chains that also lead to C. In fact, careful investigation reveals 
that there are, actually, ten trillion different possible lines down 
the whole ten-event sequence, no one of them having a proba- 
bility higher than io _10 th— but the summated probability pro- 
ducts turn out to have a value of 0.99! 

Now a chain is as strong as its weakest link— because it's a 
single-line development. Logic operates on that principle, and a 
logical argument can be completely shattered by breaking any 
one link in the sequence. 


But a cable doesn't have links; breaking any one strand does 
not break the cable. And a gestalt argument doesn't depend on 
any single link, or any single line of development. Like the 
fibrous construction so typical of the strengtii of living things, 
each line of development is independent, but interactive; it will 
not shatter under stress, but is capable of elasticity. It can't be 
handled very easily by a mathematical process, because it's a 
noise-filled system; it's so interactive that breaking one line of 
development interacts to put more stress on the other lines of 
development. Many times blocking of one fine of development 
simply increases the probability of another, while at other times, 
blocking one decreases adjoining and subsequent probabilities. 

Gestalt argument methods simply haven't been formulated, and 
can't, at present, be described in detail. We're stuck with that. 
But we must, also, recognize that logic is the truth, and nothing 
but the truth— but a lie, if we don't recognize that it is not the 
whole truth. 

In addition to gestalt arguments based on multiple-channel 
low-probability developments, there is a third method of rational 
thinking that has not been adequately formulated, but evidently 
does exist; let's call it analogic. Since I can't formulate either 
gestalt rationality, nor analogic rationality, I can't derive a sharp 
distinction between them, and show where the boundaries are 
such that they do not overlap. But that there are two distinct 
nonlogical rationalities I think can be shown. 

When aeronautical engineers work with models in wind tun- 
nels they have to do some very tricky mathematics, based on 
some rather largely empirical formulas called the Laws of Models. 
If you build a full-size fuselage and wing system having exactly 
the form of the model that tested successfully— you'll have a Grade 
A flop. The engineers are forced, by practical considerations, to 
experiment with models— which are analogous to the full-scale 
ship they want to build, but not similar to it. The full-scale ship 
will not work right if its form is similar in the sense the term 
"similar" is used in geometry— having the same angles and length- 

In making the transformation of dimension ratios, the engineer 
is using analogic; he is reasoning by analogy, in one of the very 


few areas where analogical reasoning has been sufficiently formu- 
lated to be acceptable. 

Any logician will throw out as not legitimate logic an effort 
to use reasoning by analogy; it has been held for many years that 
analogic reasoning is not logical reasoning. But analogic is ra- 
tional! The Navy researchers towing test hulls in the Navy's tow 
tank depend on the rationality of analogic. In actual everyday 
living and thinking we must depend on analogic— yet we cannot 
defend our analogic in debate because there has never been an 
adequate formulation of the Laws of Analogic. This doesn't mean 
that no such laws exist; it simply means that we haven't found 
them yet. 

Yet all science is, actually, based on the use of gestalt rationality 
and analogic rationality, far more than on logic, when the matter 
is investigated. Logic is the result finally achieved by the pre- 
liminary use of analogic and gestalt thinking. 

Cosmologists are studying turbulence in a small laboratory pool 
of water in an effort to better understand the interactions of spiral 
nebulae. They find that galaxies collide, sometimes, and show 
viscous characteristics. How can that be? If we could formulate 
analogic, we could study better the pool of water, the swirl of 
gas in a near-vacuum, the eddy-in-space that is an atom. 

Stellar mechanics has been greatly helped by the study of a 
large pool of mercury metal in a strong magnetic field. But if we 
just knew the Laws of Analogic, we could do a lot better. 

Logic is only one of the methods of rational thinking! 

March 1954 



It is terribly hard to convince a man he's wrong, under the best 
of circumstances. But it's even harder to convince him thoroughly 
that he's wrong— when he isn't. Things like the old folk-super- 
stition, anciently held by the peasants of Europe, that, if you 
get a bad cut, putting a few spider webs over it will stop the 
bleeding. It's terribly hard to convince them that that's a silly 

It just happens that the alien protein of spider silk is both 
highly reactive— that's part of why it's sticky— and highly alien; it 
causes the blood platelletes to shatter and cause clotting almost 
instantly. The strong network of spider-silk threads then form an 
excellent framework for the clot to establish itself on. A freshly 
made spider web is usually quite clean, and is more reactive than 
an old one. Works much better than the kind of highly non-sterile 
cloths a peasant is apt to have around. 

It is, by the nature of things, the inevitable fate of any great 
leader in thought to have a horrible time getting his ideas over to 
his fellow man. He's a great leader because he has brand-new 
and important thoughts— thoughts that are highly disturbing, too, 
since they mean the abandonment of older, less effective ideas, 
that have long been cherished. The inevitable consequence of 
that situation is that every great leader blows his top every so of- 
ten about the asininity of Mankind, the stupidity, recalcitrance, 
and general no-goodness of thick-witted, non-thinking, stubborn 
Man. Galileo's original papers are, I understand, marvels of vitu- 
perative language, much of it unprintable in any modern book. 
Every great leader has had excellent reason to fulminate about 
the recalcitrance and stupidity of Man— on how Man rejects stub- 
bornly those things that are wise and good and sensible, clinging 
leechlike to his pet superstitions, his pet emotional responses, 
and his beloved— and stupid— superstitions. 

In the Eastern tradition, the Great Thinker simply retires into 


himself, thinks his own great thoughts, and lets those who want 
to take the trouble to learn come to him. The Western tradition 
puts the Great Man on the spot; if you're so darned smart, let's 
see you do something useful with your ideas! And the first useful 
thing you can do is teach me. If you can't do anything useful with 
your ideas— why should I supply you with useful food, clothing 
and shelter? Why should I spend my useful-to-me time listen- 
ing to you? 

This, too, has caused more than one of the West's Great Think- 
ers to blow his stack on the subject of "gross materialism." I sus- 
pect a certain undercurrent of resentment that the world wouldn't 
give him the gross material to eat that he found necessary. 

Now perhaps it would be worth while to review this situation, 
and see whether the indictments of Mankind's stupidity, recalci- 
trance, et cetera, are justified. The West's brutally ruthless tend- 
ency to make Gerald Genius get in and pitch for his living— 
to make his wonderful ideas useful— has unquestionably been 
exceedingly hard on the dispositions of many great, and poten- 
tially great men. It's distracted them, and forced them to spend 
time earning a living that they would prefer to have spent work- 
ing out their great ideas. It's certainly been a handicap to 
those men. 

But . . . well, maybe it has been worth while, at that. The East 
tried it the other way; it may well be that they achieved some 
mighty spiritual triumphs— but that's going to be hard to deter- 
mine in another couple of centuries, since the highly teachable 
Western concepts are rapidly flooding over and submerging the 
original Eastern concepts. (The Western concepts are more teach- 
able, because about ninety per cent of the time of a Western gen- 
ius had to be devoted to sweating out some way of getting his 
idea across. The result was that the great talents of first-order 
geniuses were channeled into developing teaching mediods. It 
was darned hard on the geniuses— but the Race of Man had found 
a way to harness its greatest thinkers to the benefit of all! ) 

But I have a feeling that the result has also had its bad as- 
pects; the Teachers have been teaching under violent protest. 
They've been teaching, all right, but with the boiling, colossal 
anger and resentment of truly tremendous personalities— and 


a lot of that angry resentment leaks through, too. The essence 
of its message is "Man is a thick-skulled, thick-witted, fumble- 
brained dope, who will learn nothing unless it is driven into his 
stubborn noggin with a bludgeon! And if he isn't bludgeoned into 
learning, he'd remain a stupid clod forever!" 

These are the attitudes of a frustrated and angry genius, a 
Galileo who was far ahead of his time, a Copernicus, Newton, or 
a Plato's attitude. Their ideas were obvious to them— but they 
were geniuses, men of abnormal power and stature. Is it appro- 
priate to condemn Mankind for not being made up entirely 
of top-level geniuses? 

Naturally, the genius doesn't want to be lonely— he wants un- 
derstanding friends. Sorry; the penalty of being out in front 
of the crowd is that there is no crowd with you. 

Actually, the genius probably doesn't want to be a leader; he is 
simply trying to be what his nature makes him— and it makes him 
lonely because his nature is unusual. 

Well— "A poor workman quarrels with his tools." If the genius 
wants to work with Mankind, he might, perhaps, do so more ef- 
ficiently if he got over blowing his stack at their stupidity, and 
tried taking the viewpoint he so violently demeans— that they are 
not stupid. That they have a great, and very ancient wisdom. That 
the flash of genius can be flashing in the wrong direction. Hitler 
was undoubtedly a genius; so was Ghengis Khan and many an- 
other of Mankind's great geniuses-in-the-wrong-direction. 

The trouble is that the great men have transmitted not only 
their very real and very great wisdom to the culture— they've also 
transmitted their anger at Man. 

Since geniuses suffer most intolerably from Mankind's intolerance 
of new ideas, the culture has a great schism in its thinking; it 
insists that we must be tolerant— and is intolerant. Possibly things 
would work better if we acknowledged that Intolerance is a great, 
useful, and necessary thing— properly used. It's worth noting that 
three billion years of evolution has produced a human organism 
that is so intolerant that you can't tolerate a skin-graft from any 
individual . . . unless you happen to be a one-egg twin, in which 


case you can tolerate a skin-graft from your genetically identical 

Three billion years of evolution doesn't make nonsense; why is 
intolerance a good and necessary thing? I don't know . . . but 
I've a strong hunch we'd do a lot better with controlling intoler- 
ance if we first found out what it was meant to do, and how it was 
meant to be used. Most communities feel that it is wrong to toler- 
ate a thief, pervert, or a sadistic killer. Let's try the demeaned 
viewpoint that Intolerance is a sound, necessary, and valuable 
function— in its proper place. 

When the United States tried the experiment of Prohibition, 
it held "There is no place for a liquor seller." Since people do 
want liquors, there obviously is a place for liquor sellers. Denying 
this fact pushed the liquor seller underground, where he oper- 
ated without thoughtful control. The result was very bad liquor, 
poisonous liquor, and uncontrolled distribution of liquor. Fortu- 
nately alcohol is one of the best antiseptics, so bacterial contami- 
nation of the liquor due to dirty handling didn't add to Man- 
kind's woes. Just imagine what would have happened if it had 
been milk! 

So long as we insist "There is no place for Intolerance in human 
thinking!" we are going to have Bootleg Intolerance— uncontrolled 
distribution, badly organized intolerance, poisonous intolerance. 
I have a hunch that if we tried that demeaned viewpoint, we 
might accept that Intolerance is a fine and necessary thing— and 
wind up with a lot less, much more sanely distributed. 

Of course, the powerful and sweeping condemnation of In- 
tolerance that is standard in our culture is an excellent example 
of a type of thinking that our culture sweepingly condemns— 
thinking in terms of categories and sweeping generalizations. In- 
asmuch as the culture itself teaches that we should think in those 
terms, and does so by example, while teaching that we should 
not do so in terms of preachments, I'm a little confused as to 
what the culture does believe. The culture preaches that you 
should not think in sweeping generalities— but the culture does 
think in precisely that manner. It's a "Don't do what I do; do 
what I say!" problem. 

Possibly thinking in generalizations is another of those de- 


meaned and suppressed concepts that need to be brought out of 
the Bootleg class. Since mankind does, and has for a long, long 
time thought in those terms, and has, somehow, managed to sur- 
vive, maybe there is a modicum of validity to it that needs to be 
found. You cant get a man to give up an idea when it's sound 
and valid; you've got to find the area of its validity, acknowledge 
it belongs there— and then he'll be able to agree there are places 
it doesn't belong. But saying it doesn't belong anywhere, under 
any circumstances, doesn't get you far. So long as you insist on 
that attitude, you can't regulate it, channel it, or apply it where it 
does fit. 

Let's try taking the demeaned viewpoint; assume that thinking in 
categorical terms is valid, and see how it could be used. 

1. Juvenile delinquents tend to grow up and become crim- 

"Why, that's no way to judge a manl I have a neighbor who 
was a juvenile delinquent, arrested seven times, and almost sent 
to reform school. But he's a fine man— an engineer with a big job 
in an important construction company. You're thinking in cate- 
gories, and you know that's not sound." 

2. Individuals who have no fixed address, no family, and no 
fixed associations in any business tend to be untrustworthy. 

"That's nonsense! I know a man who's a business organization 
consultant. He's a bachelor, and he has no fixed address, and 
naturally, in his work, changes from one business association to 
another rapidly. That doesn't mean a thing; it's just sloppy think- 

3. Individuals who carry concealed guns are usually open to 
considerable suspicion. 

"Oh . . . nonsense! I suppose you'd say that a detective was 
a crook because he carries a concealed gun!" 

4. There is a tendency for social deviants such as criminals to 
take to flashy and extreme styles of dress. 

"That would make most of the teen-agers I know criminals! 
You can't judge a man's character by his clothes, and you know 

5. This individual was a juvenile delinquent; he has no family, 


no fixed address, no business associations, is carrying a con- 
cealed gun, and is flashily dressed. I suspect he may be a pro- 
fessional criminal, and will take precautionary measures on that 

Perhaps the major trouble with the use of thinking-in-categories 
is that most people do too little of it— they don't use enough cate- 
gories. Senator McCarthy evidently feels that one-time interest in 
a Communist-associated organization is adequate proof that a 
man is untrustworthy— though it happens that his other category- 
associations include twenty or thirty conservative political, eco- 
nomic and religious organizations. It isn't that categorical think- 
ing is itself wrong— but that, like any good thing, it can be used 

If you have a piece of glass, and put a streak of lacquer on it 
that absorbs ten per cent of the transmitted light, you can't blacken 
it with that. But if you put thirty such streaks across the glass, and 
they all intersect at one point ... it won't be black, of course, but 
it'll be awful darned dark looking. 

Maybe the human race would get along a bit better if it didn't 
try to totally suppress things that Man, over the megayears, has 
learned the hard way— by evolution. Not all animals with big 
teeth are carnivores. Not all animals with claws are carnivores. 
Not all big animals are carnivores. But if you enter a region that is 
totally strange to you, and you see a large animal, with large 
pointed teeth, that has claws rather than hoofs, and does not have 
horns— you have no logical data, of course, about the nature of this 
individual, it's just pure suspicion, but you're rather apt to live 
longer if you suspect it of being a hunting carnivore. 

On the other hand, as Couvier, the great Zoologist pointed out, 
the traditional Devil is obviously herbiverous; he has horns and 

May 1955 


There has been very little study of the relationships between in- 
dividuals, and the group generated by the interactions of those 
individuals— either at the level of purely mechanical units such 
as relays in a computer, or human beings in a culture. The intro- 
duction of the great electronic computers, and of ever more com- 
plex systems, and systems-of-systems, has led to a beginning of 
the study of systems-as-such. 

The most pressing aspect of systems-problems has been the 
obviously high-priority one of systems failures. If we have ten 
thousand individual units each having a fifty per cent reliability 
in a one-thousand-hour run, how long can we expect the system, 
as a whole, to operate before failure, assuming the ten thousand 
units are connected in series? Answer: About six minutes. 

Systems don't behave in quite as simple a way, however, when 
we have multiple-series-parallel connections, with crossover 
switching for substitution or bridging around defective units, plus 
feedback for internal self-checking, plus dynamic homeostasis 
systems, and a few of the other simpler types of arrangements 
the systems engineers have introduced for improved reliability. 
The boys in the drafting rooms are beginning to consult the 
biologists, and the neurologists are starting to look up from com- 
puter journals with a sudden realization of the order of, "Sooooo— 
so that's why the third ganglion of . . . hm-m-m . . ." Living or- 
ganisms have been evolving solutions— purely pragmatic, but ex- 
tremely competent after three to four billion years of field test- 
ing—to systems reliability problems too, of course. Negative and 
positive feedback systems— telemetering— servomechanisms— am- 
plifier systems— miniaturization to make a miniaturization engi- 
neer tear his hair— it's all been there for a billion years or so. 

Most of the naturally evolved systems are so darned highly 
evolved that human engineering can t figure out what in blazes 
the thing's built that way for. Usually die miniaturization tech- 


nique has been carried down to a sub-molecular level, which 
makes it just a bit difficult for the engineer to trace out the cir- 
cuits, even if he knew what the circuits were doing. 

On the other extreme, the humanic fields are stopped just as 
completely because the structures they are studying are equally 
complex, and so huge that a man's-eye-view makes it as difficult 
to see the shape of the whole system-of-systems involved in a 
culture, as it is for a man to see the shape of die Earth. The tools 
for expressing the problem, moreover, are the inherently inade- 
quate tools developed before the existence of the problem was 
recognized— language that's based on linear logic. Modern lan- 
guages and thinking-systems work like a chain of links, and are 
inherently unsuitable for expression of a system-of-systems diat 
works like a rope. Our formal method of discussion denies the 
use of analogical thinking, and refuses to consider that ten con- 
current items, each having a truth-and-relevancy probability of 
fifty per cent, can constitute high-probability evidence. After all, 
logically each one of them can be shown to be too untrustworthy 
for consideration. 

The social scientists— and in that group I include psychologists, 
psychotherapists, sociologists, anthropologists, linguistics special- 
ists, and historians— are struggling with tools inadequate to their 
task, and struggling with the fact that the new tools can't be in- 
vented so long as the Rules of Evidence remain unmodified. 

Being a science-fiction editor, I can speculate; anyone inter- 
ested is invited to speculate along with me, in the full realization 
that no formally acceptable evidence can be educed to establish 
the validity of the speculations. This is reasoning by analogy, 
which every one knows is of no value in a truly logical discussion. 

I suggest that in two populations, having a normal distribution 
of characteristic Alpha, such that population A has the peak of 
the distribution curve as little as 0.1% off the peak of that 
characteristic for population B, may, as a system, differ in kind, 
not merely in degree. That Population A, in other words, may by 
its interactions, produce a system of type X, while population B, 
in its interactions, solely because of that 0.1% difference, may 
produce a different kind of system, type Y. 


If this proposition can be validated, that would imply that very 
minor shifts in the peak of a distribution curve could produce 
huge differences in the nature of the resultant culture. 

The speculation is based on the following analogical reasoning: 
a human population, in its interactions, is a very complex system 
of information relay units. The "grapevine" communication sys- 
tem is a tremendously powerful force in shaping the reaction of 
any population— and grapevine communication involves multiple- 
parallel information relaying, with an almost indescribably 
complex system of feedbacks, cross-checkings, shunts, filtering 
systems, distorting forces, damping forces, and what not. An in- 
dividual unit in the interacting complex may have a personal bias 
that causes him to block passage of information of type 1, while 
strongly amplifying and reinforcing information of type 2. For 
information of type 1 he acts as a damping filter; for type 2 he's 
a resonant amplifier. 

Due to his interconnections, with type 2 information, he'll ex- 
cite (transmit to) twenty contacts, and reinforce the input in- 
formation strongly in transmitting it. Perhaps for type 3, or type 
17 information, he's an inverter-amplifier— he actively denies and 
suppresses any such information. He will spend time and effort 
seeking out individuals who have the information, and seeking to 
destroy their belief in its validity. Other individuals may or- 
ganize to establish blocks in the system seeking to make the 
entire system non-conductive for information of a specific type. 
In our current culture, information on sex and various other sub- 
jects is actively blocked by organized groups, for example. 

All in all, the complex interactions of human individuals in a 
culture constitutes an enormously complex information filtering 
and relaying system, with both positive and negative feedback 
at all stages, complex shunts around blocks, and altogether con- 
stituting an unanalyzably involved system. 

However some of the general characteristics of such very com- 
plex systems have been solved in a quite different area— in the 
field of nucleonics! 

A standard nuclear reactor represents a complex population of 
different components, having different characteristics with re- 
spect to two critical phenomena; neutrons and fission reactions. 


Present in a nuclear reactor there will be U-235, U-238, a moder- 
ator such as graphite or heavy water, and various impurities, 
plus control rods, which are simply controllable impurities hav- 
ing neutron-absorbing characteristics. 

If a neutron reaches a U-235 nucleus, it normally causes fission; 
the U-235 nucleus can, for our purposes, be considered a 
neutron-amplifier, since it gives off 2-plus neutrons for each neu- 
tron absorbed. All the other substances present are neutron- 
absorbers, tending to damp out the neutron-signals released by 
the U-235 neutron-amplifiers. Some neutrons will be lost by es- 
cape through the boundaries of the reactor. 

If the net gain due to the U-235 "neutron amplifiers" is exactly 
equal to the total loss of neutrons to all other components, the 
intensity of the nuclear reaction will be constant at whatever 
level it happens to be. The overall situation is, under this con- 
dition, that, on the average, the birth rate of neutrons in the sys- 
tem equals exactly the death rate, so that the neutron popula- 
tion is constant. The net neutron reproduction constant is, then, 
1.000000. This neutron reproduction rate is referred to as the 
k-factor of the reactor. 

However, if the k-factor is 1.0000001, each succeeding gen- 
eration of neutrons is slightly more numerous; the neutron popu- 
lation is rising, and the level of activity of the reactor going up. 
In a reactor, the time per generation of neutrons is exceedingly 
short; the rate of rise of activity will be decidedly noticeable, 
even with so minute an excess over 1.000. . . . 

On the inverse side, if k = 0.9999999 . . . , the rate of reaction 
is falling, the system is being damped, and will eventually settle 
down to zero reaction. 

In such a system then, if k departs from exactly 1.000 ... by 
even a minute degree, the system, as a whole, heads either for 
zero, or infinity. In the atomic bomb, we have a nuclear reactor 
with a high k factor, and the system heads for an infinite rate of 
reaction at a spectacularly high rate. Yet the bomb is perfectly 
safe and stable until triggered, because the system has been so 
designed that, until triggered, the k factor is held below 1.0000, 
and the reaction rate is, therefore, practically zero. 

Now herein lies the peculiarity of this type of system-reaction; 


a minute difference in degree— the k-factor— produces, because of 
the chain interaction system, a difference of kind. If k is less than 
1.0000, the reactor does not react; if k exceeds 1.0000, the reactor 
does react. A tiny difference of degree becomes, in a complexly 
interacting system of this type, an Aristotelian difference of Yes 
or No. 

In a nuclear reactor, the k-factor is controlled usually by in- 
serting or withdrawing the neutron-absorbing material of the con- 
trol rods. The reactor system, as a whole, is highly sensitive to 
very small changes in the amount of neutron-absorbing material 
present; a little too much neutron-absorption, and the nuclear 
reaction damps out completely. A little too little . . . and things 
get frantic rather suddenly; the safety rods drive home, alarm 
bells sound off, various automatic damping devices shut down 
everything, and start yelling for somebody to find out what in 
blazes went wrong. 

But any human culture is a complexly interacting group. There 
are individuals who will amplify and transmit certain classes of 
information— and others who damp it out. 

Who wants to bet that a very slight shift in the peak of the 
population's distribution curve can't make the whole system 
suddenly become highly reactive to a type of idea that, thereto- 
fore, it was totally unreactive to? 

Just a few less idea-dampers, or a few more idea-amplifiers— 
and the system may "go critical" with respect to that idea. 

Sure— it's just a matter of degree, not of kind, at the level of 
individual characteristics. 

But it's a matter of kind at the level of system response! 

October 1957 


The current estimates of astrophysicists indicate that our local 
galaxy is something like 300,000 light-years in circumference. The 
solar system is moving through space— in a great orbit about the 
galactic center— at about a dozen miles a second. Now obviously 
that sort of snail-pace crawl is never going to get us anywhere in 
transgalactic, or circumgalactic travel. 

Well ... it won't in one man's lifetime— or even in the lifetime 
of Herr Hider's boasted 1,000-year Reich. (Even if it had come 

However, astrophysicists also estimate that the Solar System is 
now on about its twenty-fifth swing around the galactic center. 
After all, five billion years isn't anything too overwhelming to a 
normal, main-sequence star, nicely stabilized in the G-range of 
spectrum types. Just because 200,000,000 years seems rather long 
to us— well, there are different time-scales to apply to different 
phenomena. Present theories suggest our Sun should be good for 
another two hundred fifty swings around the galaxy before reach- 
ing old age. 

What is, and is-not possible or practicable many times depends 
on the time-scale imposed; a dozen miles a second is an "impos- 
sible" speed for circumnavigating the entire galaxy, is it? 

I've had a good many arguments on the subject of selective 
breeding of human beings— not on the subject of whether or not 
it should be done, or is ethical, but on whether or not it can be 
done at all. The essential argument against the possibility is in 
essence: "You can't eliminate recessive characteristics! They'll 
hide in the germ-plasm where you can't tell they're there, and 
crop out again one thousand— two tiiousand— five thousand years 
later. You'll never be able to get rid of a characteristic you've de- 
cided against! No human plan has ever lasted even one thousand 
years, let alone five thousand!" 


In other words, the argument is that the rate of advance is im- 
possibly slow with respect to the distance to be covered. 

And that simply suggests that the wrong time scale is being 

Fd like to suggest to the attention of geneticists and animal 
breeders in general, some consideration of the problem of selec- 
tive breeding of human beings— with a time scale of the order 
appropriate to evolutionary phenomena. Say let's consider what 
can be done in 50 kiloyears or so, by the application of extremely 
harsh culling of the rejected types. 

Properly, we should talk in terms of kilogenerations rather than 
kiloyears; after all, it's the number of generations that counts— 
not the time-span involved. Modern human racial types tend 
toward a twenty-five-year generation, but the most primitive hu- 
man types still surviving tend toward a ten- to fifteen-year gen- 
eration; the females start producing young at eleven to twelve 
years of age, and average something approaching one per year 
for another twelve years or so. ( Most of the young die, of course, 
in infancy— but the rate of production is high.) In the earliest 
protohuman groups, we can assume a generation was shorter, and 
some ten generations could be packed into a century. 

Anthropologists seem to feel that human tribes have existed 
for a minimum of 250,000 years; we can say that's a minimum of 
ten thousand generations, and probably somewhat nearer eight 
thousand generations. 

Now recessive characteristics that don't manifest themselves in 
a span of one thousand generations must be really quite recessive 
—recessive enough that we can be quite unperturbed by their 
phenomenally rare appearance. Albinos exist, and varicolored 
skin appears occasionally— a sort of "pinto" human being— but we 
don't have to disturb ourselves greatly about those unimportant 

Then any selective breeding system that could maintain a pro- 
gram of selection for a period of one thousand generations, not 
one thousand years, would have some real effect. Moreover, if the 
selective mechanism were utterly ruthless, savagely harsh, and 
culled so hard and tight as to destroy sixty per cent of the young 
produced each generation— a level of ruthless selectivity no mod- 


ern human group would countenance for a moment!— consider- 
able effect could be produced in selective breeding of human 

I propose to show that precisely such a selective breeding sys- 
tem did in fact— and still does— operate. I want, first, to make it 
absolutely clear that I am NOT making any moral-ethical judg- 
ments whatever. It is a fact that wolves produce a selective breed- 
ing effect on deer herds; this is readily observed, without any 
need for moral judgment as to whether they should or should 
not do so. 

In the same purely observational sense, I want to show that 
human beings have been selectively bred by a mechanism that 
does have the requisite long time-span effect to make one thou- 
sand years like a day in its sight— one thousand years or one 
thousand generations. 

There are two things that set Man apart from the animals. (Ob- 
servable things, that is! The question of soul we'll have to skip 
because we can't observe it.) One: Man has the ability to use 
symbolic abstractions. (A certain few animals have this ability to 
some slight degree.) Two: Man has the ability to override his 
instinctive behavior patterns by intellectual-training ideas. No 
other animal has that ability. 

Please note: that ability is not absolute in Man, nor is it even 
yet invariably present in all men. There are indications that ba- 
boons have some degree of symbolization language, and strong 
indications that porpoises also have a language. Let's consider the 
problem of the very early proto-human proto-tribe; in essence, it 
was to distinguish the Men from the Monkeys, among the progeny 

One thing that helps on making the thing possible is that the 
human race has a nearly-unique situation; the human male can 
rape the female without her consent or co-operation— something 
impossible to practically all other mammalian species. This is 
somewhat more important than it at first appears. If the males of 
the proto-tribe are going to select the young produced, and de- 
stroy the ones they consider unacceptable— the female's instincts 
are to protect her young, and to find and mate with males who 


will accept and protect her young. The proto-human females 
would have refused to mate with males who destroyed their 
young, if they were able to refusel There's no use having a good, 
valid idea ... if you can't make it work, you know. If the fe- 
males had been able to block it, it wouldn't have worked. 

So Item #1 in the proto-human males: They could overcome 
the ancient mammalian instinct to accept and protect all their 
female's progeny. 

Obviously the No. 1 test for Man vs. Monkey was whether the 
individual young learned to use language. All indications avail- 
able suggest that those who didn't pass the test were converted 
to food for the tribe; cannibalism was, at the period under dis- 
cussion, de rigueur. 

That individuals incapable of learning to use language were 
flunked from the proto-tribe is fairly understandable; a group 
having a really rugged struggle to achieve a subsistence level of 
existence doesn't support incompetents. It can't. It has a better 
use for them— as food. 

Please try to get something of the viewpoint of these proto- 
humans. They were not human . . . yet. They were not sentimen- 
tal; they were, equally, not cruel. A falling tree may crush a 
child, and hold it pinned helpless, while it dies slowly in scream- 
ing agony; still, the tree is not cruel. A wolf kills a fawn; it is not 
cruel, either— simply hungry. The early proto-humans were in- 
capable of cruelty; that is an attitude, a concept, beyond the 
reach of their very unsubtle minds. Cruelty requires sophistica- 
tion; tiiese proto-humans utterly lacked it. 

If they caught four members of an alien tribe, only one of 
whom could be eaten by the tribe that day, they broke the arms 
and legs of the other three. This kept the extra supply of meat 
fresh and unspoiled until it, too, could be eaten while very simply 
and directly preventing escape. This was not cruelty; it was lack 
of refrigeration. 

The young who did not learn to use speech were recognized as 
nonmen, as animals, and eaten. 

Maintain that system for some one to ten kilogenerations . . . 
and it's a very, very effective selective breeding system. Even re- 
cessive nonspeech genes will get combed out. 


Oh, of course they ate a few who couldn't learn to speak be- 
cause of hearing defects, or vocal anomalies, who were, other- 
wise, perfectly sound carriers of sound genes. But that was quite 
unimportant; the females were always producing more young 
than could be fed anyway. And the hearing defect might have 
been a genetic anomaly too ... so into the pot with him. 

Note that once a proto-human proto-tribe capable of speech 
arises, it will inevitably become a self-perpetuating selective- 
breeding system that culls out all nonspeaking young produced. 
And this tendency won't continue just for a few generations— just 
while a particular dynasty of tribal leaders prevails. It has a char- 
acteristic that will make it continue as a basic of the tribe so long 
as the tribe exists. 

Since tribes capable of speech have a very, very real advantage 
over nonspeaking herds, the tribe will persist indefinitely. 

If it is overcome and destroyed— it's almost certain that only 
another speaking tribe will be able to organize sufficiently to de- 
feat it. 

And, incidentally, note that War was invented by proto- 
humans as a necessary, racial-benefiting system. Any speaking 
tribe has so great an advantage over any nonspeaking herd that 
with only animal enemies, wild and destructive variants could 
rise to lethal concentration before being eliminated. A speaking 
tribe could go off on some intrinsically destructive aberrant de- 
velopment and go beyond the point of no return if only animal 
predators menaced it. But with alien speaking tribes around to 
menace— they will be forced to fly right, or get clipped quick. 

Only other men, that is, constituted adequate judges of human 
or proto-human tribes. 

Given a few thousand generations— and tribal life has been go- 
ing on for at least ten thousand generations— the selective breed- 
ing system produced a pure-bred strain of speech-gifted people. 
Today, even our lowest idiots, defective as they are, maintain 
that very, very, deeply inbred ability. Nonspeaking genes were, 
in the proto-tribal environment, absolutely lethal genes, having a 
one hundred per cent infant mortality effect. Even recessive non- 
speaking genes get pretty thoroughly eliminated in the course of 
ten thousand generations. 


Sure it's hard to breed out recessive characteristics— and at 
twelve miles a second it takes a long time to get around the 
galaxy. That doesn't mean it's impossible; it just means it takes 
time. A quarter million years of time, for eliminating nonspeak- 
ing Monkeys from the race of Men. 

Now obviously the time to eliminate carriers of defective genes 
is before they breed, not afterward. That is, the young should be 
tested for defects before being allowed to mate; passing the tests 
would then give the testee the right to take a mate and start 
breeding. They would, in other words, be the Manhood Rites. 

Any anthropologist can assure you that Manhood Rites are uni- 
versally found among tribes on all the continents all over the 
planet. Since the African Negroes, the South American Indians 
and the Australian Aborigines have had no cultural common ori- 
gin in the last thirty thousand years, it's fair indication that the 
Manhood Rites ceremonies have been effectively part of the hu- 
man tribal system for at least thirty thousand years. That alone 
would be quite an extensive selective breeding force. 

Now there is one basic feature that is common to practically 
all Manhood Rites ceremonies everywhere; trial by ordeal. 

Remember that one of the two crucial tests that separates Man 
from Monkey is that a Man can, by rational intellectual effort 
overcome, override, his instinctive controls. He can do what his 
instincts violently forbid, and can refrain from doing what his 
instincts command. A Monkey cannot. 

You can train an animal to jump through a flaming hoop— by 
teaching him the fact that the fire does not hurt. You can not 
teach an animal to hold still while a burning brand is thrust 
against its flesh to sear the flesh— to hold still, while the stink of 
its own burning meat rises into its nostrils. You can teach an ani- 
mal that its instinctive response does not apply in this case; it 
can then jump through the burning hoop. But the instinct does 
apply when a red-hot coal is burning its way into its flesh. 

Three extremely powerful instinctive pain-dread systems exist 
in animals: 1. Thou shalt not allow thy protective skin to be pene- 
trated lest thou diel 


2. Thou shalt not allow thy teeth to be destroyed, for with- 
out them, thou cannot nourish thyself! 

3. Thou shalt protect thy genitals with thy life, for without 
them thou shalt die genetically. 

In other words, skin, teeth, and genitals all have very high in- 
stinctive survival value. 

Typical Manhood Rites involve ordeals by fire, involving real, 
not mock, destructive burning of the skin, or cutting the skin of 
the chest in two places, forcing a leather strap through from one 
slit to the other, and requiring that the boy tear the strap out 
through his skin, and scarifying tattooing-the-hard-way. Tooth- 
filing is another quite standard Manhood test. And circumcision 
is one of the oldest and most widespread. (The Jews moved it 
from Manhood to babyhood— but by then, they'd developed some 
quite different and more important tests.) 

I think it will be unequivocally agreed that no Monkey could 
pass any one of these tests— for the real essence of it is that verbal 
commands alone must suffice to override ancient, and valid in- 

Because they are valid instincts. Occasionally, individuals are 
born without a sense of pain; such individuals could, of course, 
pass the ordeal test without any difficulty whatever ... if they 
could just manage to live that long. The pain instincts are valid; 
you cant live without them. The essence of the ancient tribal 
tests is that a Man, unlike a Monkey, can, by intellectual-volition 
override valid instincts, in real, not mock, situations. 

When the Manhood Rites ordeals started, its a fair bet that 
every boy who lost the battle to control his instincts, and ran 
from the searing brand on his flesh, contributed to the celebra- 
tion banquet of the successful Men. Not because the tribesmen 
were cruel, nor because they were punishing him for running— 
but because he had turned out to be a Monkey, not a Man, and 
roast Monkey was a standard item of diet anyway. 

The tribe that relaxed its tests— that stopped culling the Mon- 
keys from their Men— was aberrant, a defective tribe, and was 
presently destroyed by some neighboring tribe. Because Monkeys 
will not face real, personal pain in battle, simply because they 
must protect their fellow-tribesmen. A Monkey will not take high 


risk of pain and death— will not, because he cannot override the 
automatic instinct pilot-controls— just to save fellow tribesmen. 

We, today, benefit from the ancient Manhood Rites selective 
breeding system that went on for tens of thousands of generations, 
whenever a jet pilot, in a plane with a flamed-out engine, rides 
his flying coffin into the ground ... so it won't fall into a school- 
yard, a hospital, or a suburban development. He does it because 
his ancestors were Men, not Monkeys— they passed the test of 
Manhood. They earned the right to breed. 

Our ancestors may have been ignorant in many things— but 
they were not stupid, nor were they fools. They found ways to 
selectively breed Men from Monkeys— and they had the cold, 
high, and ruthless determination to do it. 

Man has been defined as a "rational animal"; the ancient ani- 
mal instincts are essential to being a Man. The ancient pain in- 
stinct, the ancient instinct to find a mate and breed— without 
these the individual and his line would die. Yet the essence of 
the "rational" part of the definition is that Man can override the 
instinct controls for cause. 

An individual specimen with that strange characteristic must 
arise constantly among the Monkeys; the difference is that ten 
thousand generations of selective breeding have produced, in 
Man, a genetic norm that has that characteristic. 

But that is a far more subtle and complex question than the 
simple "speaks" or "cant speak"; the ability to speak has been 
almost absolutely stabilized in Man. The ability to override in- 
stinct for rational cause cannot be so sharply and simply defined 
at any level higher than the level of physical pain. 

The modern rapist, who cannot override an instinctive drive, 
would present a very simple problem to our ancestors. "He is not 
a Man, but a Monkey; destroy him." 

The more subtle levels of rational overcontrol are still in proc- 
ess of selection; never, in all time to come, will the necessity for 
selective breeding of human beings end, however. There are not 
only outcroppings of recessive genes to fight— there are always 
negative mutations that regenerate the eliminated and rejected 
genes. There will be Monkeys who cannot learn speech born, 
through all future ages. There are, and will be, Monkeys who 


cannot take rational command from the automatic-pilot of in- 
stincts born. Through all the ages ahead, both types, when born, 
must be denied membership in the race of Man. 

Currently, there's another level of selective breeding needed 
—and coming up. The Tribal Man was selectively bred for the 
characteristic that training and instruction should be able to over- 
ride instinct. 

What we know as Civilization requires a higher characteristic; 
that judgment of an immediate, present instance be able to over- 
ride both training and instinct. 

The Monkey was required to give up his reliance on instinct 
to become a Man; the Tribesman must give up his reliance on 
instinct and training to become a Citizen. 

The Monkey's sense of rightness-and-security was, basically, 
derived from all his ancestors— instinctive. The Tribesman de- 
rived his sense of rightness and security from all his tribe— the 
training in ritual and taboo. The Citizen must derive his sense of 
rightness from his own judgments— without losing sight of the 
fact that his judgments can be wrong. 

The Citizen, poor guy, has to get along without any sense of 
security; it is a luxury he can't afford, if he is to live by judgment, 
instead of Traditional Training or Instinct. 

February 1961 


Some of the greatest minds in the history of human science are 
Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Galileo, and Isaac 

These men did certain work, concerning certain observational 
data, for certain motivations. They were five great Astrologers. 

Running an article on the nature and development of astrology 
in this magazine— or any other magazine directed primarily to a 
technically oriented readership— calls for some explanation. It 
has been thoroughly, solidly, completely established, for a couple 
of centuries now, that astrology is superstitious nonsense. 

Since that solid decision is now a couple of centuries old, and 
is flatly in contradiction of five of the keenest minds the human 
race is known to have produced, it is at least reasonable to re- 
view the decision at this point and see if modern data does, in 
fact, confirm the now centuries-old conclusions. (Be it remem- 
bered that, in essence, an "old superstition' , is a conclusion 
reached by people several centuries previously, without adequate 
grounds, and which has not been rationally reviewed since. In 
that sense, the proposition "Astrology is superstitious nonsense" 
is itself a superstition!) 

The two areas of research that most fascinated Isaac Newton 
were astrology and alchemy. Through a long period of the Renais- 
sance the most able technically inclined minds of Mankind were 
engaged in studies of astrology and alchemy. 

Alchemy— in the sense of the search for the Philosopher's Stone, 
and the transmutation of base metals to gold— proved a complete 
bust. Transmutation we now know is perfectly possible . . . but 
not by any chemical manipulation. The Philosopher's Stone was a 
completely false goal. 

Astrology broke down into something considered quite differ- 
ent—Astronomy. We now say that Tycho Brahe was a great as- 


tronomer, and that those other great men were also early astrono- 

Were they? They didn't say so! To decide the question, we 
must, first, get some sort of a definition of the difference between 
"astrology" and "astronomy." You think you can do that easily? 
Oh . . . "Astrology is that superstitious nonsense about predicting 
future events on Earth by studying the positions of the stars and 

And how do the United States government agencies set about 
predicting the tides? By astrology— if that's the definition of As- 

Oh . . . that's different, because that's simple gravitational 
force computation? You mean, then, "it ain't what you do, it's the 
way that you do it!" 

Then Kepler couldn't help being an astrologer. Since gravity 
hadn't been defined at the time he was doing his work, when he 
computed tides by studying the aspects of the Sun and Moon, he 
was an astrologer. A later computer predicting tides by studying 
the aspects of the Sun and Moon, however, would not be an 
astrologer, even though he did exactly the same things, because 
he knew that gravity existed. That it? 

Hm-m-m . . . and what is this "gravity"? Is it anything like 
"elan vital" or phlogiston? They explained observed phenomena 
also, though, at the time, they could not themselves be defined. 

No, somehow that doesn't satisfy. The modern computer uses 
Kepler's laws, and the laws of that later, greater astrologer, New- 
ton, and essentially not only does what Kepler did, but does it the 
way Kepler did. 

It seems to me the real difference is purely subjective— which is 
why the oh-so-strictly-objective scientist doesn't care to try to de- 
fine the difference. The difference is purely a matter of motiva- 
tion—not of action nor of process. If Q. Publicus killed B. Marcus 
by running him through with his short sword, was Q. Publicus a 
murderer? No, Q. Publicus was the executioner designated by his 
Centurion to dispose of B. Marcus, traitor. Murder is determined 
not by action nor by method, but by motive. 

And even that differentiation can get a bit subtle at times. 
Most alchemists got into the business partly from pure curiosity 


—basic research— and considerably for reasons of making money. 
The modern chemist gets into the business partly through the 
urge of pure curiosity, and partly to make a living. And the nu- 
clear physicist is trying to perfect his transmutation techniques 
just as his ancestral alchemist was! 

The error in alchemy was that they were trying to do a level of 
work that could not be handled until several centuries of addi- 
tional, lower-level data had been accumulated. They were trying 
to enter the era of nucleonics before they'd learned what the 
elements were. 

There were some three centuries of chemical engineering be- 
tween where they were and where they thought they were— at 
the border of the nuclear era. 

The astrologers were in somewhat the same position; they 
needed a very great deal more information about such funda- 
mentals as celestial mechanics, nuclear physics, radiation physics, 
high-energy particle emission, ionic phenomena, magnetic field 
effects . . . oh, a very great deal!— before they could even begin 
to get some of what they thought they were ready for. And, of 
course, they had a lot of false ideas of what they could get any- 
way—just as the alchemists thought they could get the Philoso- 
pher's Stone. 

Basically, Astrology started several millennia ago, when early 
men first observed the immense effect the cycles of the stars had 
on events here on Earth. The early Egyptians and Babylonians 
had no slightest conception of why the world grew colder when 
the cycle of the stars brought Orion rising in the east at twilight 
—or why the world grew warmer again when Lyra rose at dusk, 
and Orion was no longer visible. 

Earliest civilized man observed a very simple, direct, and ab- 
solutely unchallengeable fact-of-nature. The movements of the 
stars predicted the changing of the climate with perfect relia- 

They had not the slightest notion why. But then, they didn't 
know why planting a seed caused a plant to come up. When the 
world is one vast collection of mysteries, the business of a wise 


man is to establish some sound, reliable correlations, letting the 
questions of why go until he has more information. 

At that stage of history, Man was acutely aware that he had to 
learn how to make sense out of the Universe he found around 
him— not demand that the Universe make sense in his terms if it 
wanted him to accept itl 

To us it is obvious that the perfect one-to-one correlation be- 
tween the cycles of the stars and the climate on Earth was not 
an observation of a cause-effect relationship, but of two effects of 
a single cause. The clock may mark the time of sunrise, but that 
correlation doesn't prove the clock causes the sun to rise. Ob- 
vious ... to us. 

By the time man's first fairly complex high-level civilizations 
had built themselves, over many laborious centuries, the knowl- 
edge that the movements of the stars accurately predicted events 
on Earth was one of the unarguable established facts. As solidly 
proven as the fact that planting seeds was necessary to get a crop. 

However . . . planting seeds, while necessary, is unfortunately 
not sufficient to assure a crop. Planting seeds is a Strong and 
Necessary Magic, and undeniably a very sound and Powerful 
Magic for crop-producing. (And it's magic, bub . . . when you 
haven't, by several thousand years, reached the stage of building 
microscopes and ultracentrifuges and microchemical analytical 
systems capable of studying the immense complexities of RNA 
and DNA and cytoplasm and genetics.) Just because a Magic 
doesn't work every time does not— very definitely not!— mean you 
should reject it as nonsense. Is there anything more supernatu- 
rally improbable than that this dry, withered, seemingly dead bit 
of woody stuff should turn itself somehow into an immense tree? 
Why, no tale of magical transformation out of the Arabian Nights 
ever surpassed thatl 

So . . . given the factual knowledge that the predictable cycles 
of the stars foretold the coming of events on Earth, it remained 
only to achieve more sophisticated methods of interpreting the 
patterns of star-movements to determine the finer details of 
events on Earth. 

Now perhaps we can define an Astrologer as one who studies the 


stars to establish his conviction that human events on Earth can 
be predicted by the movements of the stars, and to perfect his 
ability thereby to predict human events more acutely. 

An Astronomer studies the stars to determine what and where 
they are . . . because he wants to understand the stars. 

As of the beginning of the Space Age, we can specify a third 
profession— the Astro-engineer, who studies the stars in order to 
predict what effects they are going to have on human engineering 

An engineer studying the possibilities of a tidal power project 
would be one example of astro-engineering. 

Now be it noted that Alchemy has been dead and dishonored 
for a couple of centuries, and all sound, properly educated Sci- 
entists knew that Transmutation was Impossible, by 1880. Chem- 
istry had, by then rejected in toto the concepts of alchemy— phi- 
losopher's stone, Earth, Air, Fire and Water, transmutation of the 
elements— the works. 

So here we are transmuting elements, and aware that trans- 
mutation of the elements is the basic process that makes the Uni- 
verse go round. 

But here we are also being so amazingly astute and wise that 
we know for a positive fact that the positions of the planets has 
nothing whatever to do with any events here on Earth. Oh, the 
Moon, yes, of course! But what effect could Jupiter, or Saturn, or 
Mars have on human affairs? How could they possibly affect any- 
thing here on Earth? What nonsense to suggest that the relative 
positions of planets could have any meaning! 

And then we have the work of John Nelson, Communications 
Engineer, who I suggest might well be classified as an Astro- 
engineer, who has learned to study the positions of the planets 
in order to predict their effects on human engineering problems. 

That solar flares disrupted radio communications here on Earth 
was a readily ascertained fact— as soon as we had radio communi- 
cations to be disrupted. Magnetic storms caused by solar flares 
had been raising hob with maritime navigation for centuries; a 
ship's compass points generally northward, unless there's a mag- 
netic storm, in which case it's just as apt to point East, West, or 
if it has a chance, Straight Up. As long power lines were strung 


across the country, and telegraph and telephone lines, we learned 
a new aspect of the storms— they could induce perfectly deadly 
voltages and currents in long conductors. 

John Nelson has shown— by making ninety-three per cent ac- 
curate predictions, when a time accuracy of ±10 minutes at 5- 
day ranges— that the occurrence of solar flares can be predicted 
by observing the patterns of the planets. 

Now this is something entirely new in observational science; it 
is a proven instance of a pattern having an effect that the ele- 
ments of the pattern do not have. It's true that chemists ran into 
that phenomenon at the molecular level— CH3-O-CH3 has the 
same elements as CH 3 CH 2 OH but a radically different effectl 
—but to find that a pattern-arrangement of the planets has im- 
mensely significant effects that the planets themselves do not is 
a very different thing indeed. 

And it means that a phenomenon has been demonstrated to be 
valid without anyone yet having been able to explain why it is 
valid. It works . . . and we don't know why. 

I fear that, little as Science likes that situation, that is a problem 
that will arise through all the megayears of history yet to come. 
Obviously any time a really new phenomenon is stumbled on, it 
will have exactly that characteristic. 

Nelson's work during the past seven years has been of immense 
value to the communications industry; his motivation in studying 
the stars and planets is not that of the astrologer, nor that of the 
astronomer. He's not interested in the stars and planets for their 
own sakes; he's interested in them as what I think we should call 
an astro-engineer— to find out how to arrange his engineering 
problem, long distance communications by radio, in view of the 
observed effects those bodies have. 

When a solar flare lets loose, it would be quite appropriate to 
say that all Hell is out for noon. The article "Gravity Insufficient," 
by Hal Clement, in the November 1961 issue gave a discussion of 
what has been found out about solar flares and their effects. It's 
painfully clear that when a solar flare cuts loose, any man outside 
of Earth's atmosphere— and no man has yet gone outside; neither 
Russian nor American capsules were beyond the protective layers 


of the upper atmosphere— in any space-capsule present technol- 
ogy can lift off the ground would be a well cooked goose. If he 
were in an orbit at 100,000 miles— he'd have to be about that far 
out to get beyond the normal Van Allen belt— he'd have to spend 
days getting there, making one orbit, and getting back. If a flare 
occurred at any time during that period, he would be completely 

A flare can develop in a period of about fifteen minutes. Eight 
minutes after it gets going, the X-radiation arrives at Earth's or- 
bit, X-radiation of a hardness and intensity such that any shield- 
ing we could lift off the launching pad would be useless. 

If the astro- or cosmo-naut caught out in the solar storm started 
for home right then ... it would be futile. Remember, the limi- 
tations of modern technology will mean he has to come in by 
using retrorockets to change his near-circular orbit to a grazing- 
ellipse orbit. And to get through the normal Van Allen belt safely, 
he must break his orbit at the right part of its 320,000 mile cir- 
cumference and come in to the lower atmosphere through one of 
the magnetic-polar tunnels through the Van Allen radiations. He 
won't have rocket power enough to simply turn his ship around, 
blast for home on an emergency short-cut orbit, and get out of 
the solar storm. 

It would take him a day or more on the fastest orbit home he 
could make. 

Beginning a few minutes after the X rays arrive at the speed of 
light, some extremely high-speed electrons will be showing up. 
They won't penetrate even the thin metal walls of a space-capsule 
. . . but the X rays generated when the walls do stop them will. 
Shortly after the fastest electrons will come the fastest nuclei- 
protons largely, traveling at very near light-speed. Gradually, the 
intensity of radiation will increase as the greater numbers of 
slower protons and electrons make the 93,000,000 mile trip from 
the Sun. 

Long before the spaceman could get down even so far as the 
outer Van Allen belt, that belt would be enormously surcharged 
with trapped ions from the solar flare. The radiation in the belts 
would, by that time, be so deadly as to kill him in minutes if he 
did try penetrating. 


Any astronaut caught off Earth in a modern space-capsule— or 
any in the foreseeable future of present technology— will be as 
dead as if he'd taken a swim on one of those swimming-pool 

The space agencies of all nations will have to employ astro- 
engineers like John Nelson, who can predict what's going to hap- 
pen to human engineering projects, by studying the pattern of 
positions of the planets. 

One can imagine the shop-talk of a couple of astrogators in 
years ahead. "Well, on this run we had to get through before 
May 31st, or the line lost that contract for good. But look, we had 
Jupiter and Saturn practically dead-on at quadrature, with Mars 
in opposition to Saturn. Earth was neutral, and the only favorable 
planet we had was Venus in trine with Jupiter. So Harmonson, 
the damn fool, says sure we can make it, and accepts the run! 
With a planetary pattern like that he thinks he can get by with- 
out a flare, yet! So . . ." 

They'll sound like astrologers. They certainly won't sound like 
astronomers— because astrogators won't be interested in the stars 
and planets for their own sweet sakes. They'll be very strictly 
practical in their interests; they won't care why certain planetary 
patterns trigger solar flares— but they'll have an acute personal in- 
terest in the fact that they do! They'll carefully consult the pat- 
tern of the planets to determine whether their aspects are propi- 
tious. If they've got Jupiter, Saturn and Mars situated 120 apart 
around the Sun, it'll be a milk run. The Sun doesn't flare, when 
those planets are 120 ° apart. 

It was the alchemists, not chemists, who first learned to make 
oil of vitriol, and corrosive sublimate and aqua regia— and our 
modern technological culture would break down without the 
megatons of oil of vitriol we need. 

It begins to look, now, as though it's time to go back and glean 
through astrology, with the vast funds of new knowledge and 
new techniques available. 

We're damn well going to need astro-engineers in the next few 

September 1962 


In the February 1957 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, H. 
Beam Piper had a story "Omnilingual" concerning the translation 
of the Martian language, found in the 50,000-plus year-old ruins. 
The anthropologists and linguists insisted that, since there could 
be no Rosetta Stone bilingual key, relating the unknown Martian 
writings to a known language, no translation would be possible. 

Piper had a very simple, but enormously powerful point to 
make; the Martians had had a highly developed technology of 
chemistry, electricity, mechanics, et cetera. And chemistry is not 
a matter of cultural opinion; it's a matter of the "opinion" of the 
Universe. It makes not the slightest difference whether you re a 
Martian, a Russian, an American, or an inhabitant of the fourth 
planet of a KO star in the Lesser Magellanic Cloud; hydrogen 
behaves in one, and only one way. Because the term "hydrogen " 
is a human-language symbol for a specific set of behavior charac- 
teristics, and, in this universe, that set of behavior characteristics 
requires the interaction of a single proton and a single electron in 
an atomic structure. ( There may be o, 1, or 2 neutrons with only 
minute variations of the chemical properties, though the resultant 
nuclear characteristics are widely different.) 

Any highly developed technology of chemistry will have a term 
referring to that pattern-of-characteristics; it has to have. The pat- 
tern of characteristics is a function not of the culture, but of the 
Universe itself. Whether you call a certain element "sauerstoff" or 
"oxygen' makes no difference; the behavior characteristics of the 
hydride of that element will remain the same. 

Technically, under international agreement, there is no such 
element as "tungsten" any more— but the metal they use for in- 
candescent lamp filaments maintains the same characteristic of 
phenomenally high melting point, whether it be called "tungsten" 
or "wolfram." No alien-star culture can develop a chemical system 
in which that element dissolves in dilute sulfuric acid and melts 


at noo°C; the laws of the Universe, not the agreements of intel- 
ligent entities is involved. 

Perhaps the scientists working on the problem of cracking the 
genetic code should take time out to read H. Beam Piper's story. 
It might help in understanding one of the "mysteries of the ge- 
netic code" that has been discovered recently. 

The communication system of genetics appears to be based on 
information encoded in the very complex arrangement of amino 
acid units in the giant molecules of deoxyribonucleic acid— DNA. 
A great deal of work has been done on some of the simpler, and 
more tractable organisms— microorganisms usually, because 
they're cheap, reproduce rapidly, and are "the small economy 

The colon bacillus has been a favorite; it's hardy, handy, and 
prolific and— which is not an unimportant consideration!— it's not 
a dangerously lethal organism. 

Certain "codons," or groupings of three-bases-together, are 
"words" in the 'language" of genetics. There are four important 
amino-acid-bases; adenine, cystine, guanine and uracil. It is 
combinations of these four, taken three-at-a-time that make up 
the "words," or codons. 

The codons are genetic-language "words" which specify a 
particular amino acid which is to be incorporated in a protein 
molecule being constructed— an enzyme, hormone, or tissue com- 

Careful research established that, in the genetic language of 
the colon bacillus, certain identified codons "meant" certain spe- 
cific and identified amino acids. I.e., the biochemists had suc- 
ceeded in translating some of the codons of the colon bacillus 
genetic language into human language. 

A scientist of Polaris B lie studying human chemistry might 
learn to translate the symbols HC1 into his native symbols *~>; 
so human biochemists learned to translate b. coli genetic lan- 
guage into human language. 

Our article "Cracking the Code," by Carl A. Larson, in the De- 
cember, 1963 issue covers a good bit of the work done in that 
area. It's one of the neatest pieces of cross-collaboration between 
scientists in history; biologists, chemists, information-theory spe- 


cialists, and computermen had to work as a team to get the 

Recently, scientists in that field have been able to make an- 
other important experimental step. If a specific codon, ACG, in 
b. coli geneticese "means" alanine— what does the codon ACG 
mean in the genetic language of other organisms? Or do all organ- 
isms "speak" the same genetic language? 

The experiments performed recently by Dr. I. Bernard Wein- 
stein, of the Columbia University College of Physicians and 
Surgeons, strongly indicate that all terrestrial organisms "speak" 
the same genetic language. 

The identification of meaning of colon bacillus codons permit- 
ted checking those specific codons in the genetic DNA of other 
organisms, and determining whether these other organisms used 
the same "dictionary" of codons. Six specific codons were checked 
for "meaning" in the genetic language of a protozoon, Chalmy- 
domonas, rat liver cells, and mouse tumor cells. All six codons, in 
each type of cell, correlated with the same specific amino acids. 

The language for all these widely different organisms was the 
same, at least with respect to these six specific amino acids. 

The evolutionary gap between bacillus coli, which belongs in 
the plant kingdom, and at an extremely primitive level, the pro- 
tozoon, and the highly evolved rodent tissue cells is enormous. 
The branch-off of the plant and animal kingdoms must have oc- 
curred at least two billion years ago; the evolutionary level of the 
placental mammals represents perhaps a billion years of advance 
and development beyond the protozoon. 

Any system of message encodement, that remains unchanged 
through some two thousand million years of transmission— through 
perhaps two trillion relayings from one generation to the next— 
has a most remarkable degree of stability. The encoding system 
carries genetic information; the genetic information is, of course, 
subject to mutation. It's those mutations over the megayears, that 
separated the bacillus, the protozoon and the rodents. But the 
system of encoding is evidently either absolutely immune to mu- 
tation, or so nearly so that not even two billion years of time, and 
two trillion relayings has altered it. 


It's been suggested that the organisms all have the same ge- 
netic code because they all descended from the same original 
life-cell, and have not changed the coding since. 

There's another possibility, however. 

Nearly ten years ago, on a visit up to Cambridge, Massachu- 
setts, I got together with a group of Harvard and MIT researchers 
—all science-fiction readers— in a fine bull-session discussion. 

With "malice aforethought," I threw in for discussion the fol- 
lowing problem: Suppose that for some reason it is necessary to 
deposit a message on a planet— we'll make it a planet like the 
Earth— which is to be recoverable after a period of two billion 

Now carving it in a mountainside won't work for that period of 
time. Nor will engraving it on platinum-iridium plates, even if 
we deposit hundreds of engraved plates all over the surface of the 

We'll make the message something relatively simple and 
specific, so we can discuss it— we'll say it's a statement concerning 
the interaction of carbon dioxide and water. 

The discussion took off in fine fashion— and it was really 
being analyzed by some highly competent minds. As I recall, 
Claude Shannon, the founder of Information Theory, was there, 
and Warren Seaman, of the Harvard Computer Labs, Wayne 
Batteau, Instrumentation Theory specialist, and some of the men 
working on the machine translation of language at die Harvard 
Computer Labs. 

It was strictly a discussion of a problem for the fun of analyzing 
problems; it lasted well over an hour and a half before they'd 
agreed on a general technique that could preserve such a mes- 
sage, on such a planet, over such a period of time. 

To begin with, trying to establish some monument that can be 
stable against all tectonic, chemical and erosive attacks for any 
such period of time is nonsense; give up. A method of multiple- 
record must be used; the message must be inscribed so many 
times that even if a million copies are lost, there will be plenty 
more to be recovered. 

But the use of multiple-record introduces problems of error- 


multiplication. Moreover, no number of copies distributed across 
the planet's surface at any given time can be expected to be sure 
to leave some available at the surface a billion years later. Erosion 
and tectonic forces keep changing the surface. 

It must, then, be not only a multiple-record system, but must 
also be self-replicating, and be given a tendency to seek the 
surface of the planet. 

However, a self-replicating system now compounds the prob- 
lem of error-transmission, since a defective copy of the message 
will tend to replicate the error indefinitely. 

Somehow, the self-replicating message-carrier device must 
have an error-detecting-and-rejecting arrangement that will auto- 
matically destroy any false copies. 

The entire discussion couldn't be printed here, even if I had a 
magnetic tape recording of it. (Which, I deeply regret, I do 
not! ) The essence of it was that, starting from the proposed prob- 
lem, these Information Theory and Instrumentation Theory men 
derived precisely the fundamental mechanism of genetics. And 
the discussion had gone on for well over an hour before they 
consciously recognized that they were, in fact, defining genetics! 

Dr. Weinstein should have been there! The genetic mechanism 
is, clearly, precisely such a mechanism as that group sought to 
define; it has preserved, in very multiple record, a precisely ac- 
curate message concerning the interaction of carbon dioxide and 
water— try living on this planet without that information!— and 
preserved it without error for better than two billion years. 

The message is self-replicating, and has a built-in mechanism 
for eliminating faulty copies. (Any cell with false notions about 
the interaction of C0 2 and H 2 is immediately self-terminating! ) 

That the message is recoverable, even after this immense span 
of time, is being proven by the work of Dr. Weinstein and his 
associates in the genetic decoding work. 

That the message has been preserved accurately— i.e., correctly 
—is demonstrated by the fact that the living cells are living suc- 

The one factor that wasn't brought out in that bull-session dis- 
cussion was that it is advantageous to have self-replicating 
multiple-record devices of many variant types, so that ideally the 


self-replicating message-carriers should be capable of self- 
generated adaptations as the planetary surface varies over the 
megayears. There's no need to make the devices unable to carry 
additional messages; the requirement was only that The Message 
should be carried on infallibly. 

I think the reason why all terrestrial life has the same basic 
genetic language— uses the same codon-dictionary— is, simply, be- 
cause That's The Way This Universe Is. Hydrogen is not cultural; 
it's universal. The laws of chemistry aren't the private opinions of 
human beings— or of terrestrial life. There is one, and only one 
way of making a hydrogen atom. The interactions of C0 2 and 
H 2 are what they are, and there is no alternative. You cant have 
any different opinions . . . and stay alive in this Universe. 

I'm willing to bet that, when we get a chance to study extra- 
terrestrial life, we'll find that the codon-dictionary is not merely a 
terrestrial-life dictionary— but the dictionary of biochemistry for 
all CHONS, we might say. CHONS standing for Carbon, Hydro- 
gen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Sulfur life forms. 

Life's business seems to be preserving The Message of Life 
across gigayears of time, unfailingly, accurately, and always re- 
coverably. The face of a planet isn't stable; it changes beyond 
recognition in even a few megayears. No structure of matter is 
stable against the changes of billions of years; even the nuclei of 
stable atoms are not certainly trustworthy over such a span. Ask 
any carbon- 14 dating expert! 

Only the absolute, fundamental laws of the Real Universe are 
to be considered adequately stable for The Message . . . with the 
added proviso that if those laws are not, in fact, stable, the self- 
replicating multiple-copy message eventually transmitted and re- 
covered will then not be accurate, but will be true! For the mes- 
sage will have changed to preserve the meaning, rather than the 

Hydrogen isn't cultural, as H. Beam Piper pointed out. 

And I'll bet that the genetic codons aren't terrestrial, either. 

December 1963 



The standard operating procedure for the Utopia-inventor is to 
describe his Utopia in terms of how he wants it to work. That is, 
he describes what he considers the goal-ideal of a society should 
be, and how he thinks that goal ideal will be achieved, in terms 
of how happy, healthy and wise citizens of Utopia co-operate 
beautifully to produce wonderful music together. Usually, there's 
no crime, because, says the author, in so perfect and happy a 
state no one wants for anything. 

There is, however, an astonishing lack of discussion of the legal 
code on which these Utopias are based— the machinery of the 
social system is always happily hidden out of sight, and we don't 
need to look at it, because it works so nicely. 

IVe seen— and in a college textbook, at that!— a definition of 
the Socialistic System that read, in essence, "Socialism is a system 
assuring maximum distribution of the wealth of the society to the 
productive citizens . . ." That makes things real nice for Social- 
ists; if that is the definition, then, by definition, they're bound to 
be right! If a system doesn't "assure maximum distribution of the 
wealth" then, it isn't Socialism, and any system that does achieve 
that obviously desirable goal is, by definition, a version of Social- 
ism, and see, doesn't that prove Socialism is the ideal system? 

It's been standard operating procedure to define Utopias in 
just such terms— and consider the legal code required to achieve 
them "a mere detail." Something gross-materialist, anti-idealist, 
conservative— or whatever opprobrious term happens to be cur- 
rent—people throw up as a deliberate effort to becloud the real, 
important issues. 

Now Utopias always have been in the legitimate field of in- 
terest of science fiction; let's try, in readership assembled, rather 
than in congress assembled, to see what the whole group of some 
100,000 readers can come up with in the way of designing a 
mechanism for a Utopian culture! This editorial is not intended as 


an Answer to the Question; it's intended to start the ball rolling; 
Brass Tacks can be the forum. What we re seeking is to pound 
out a Constitution for Utopia, defining a system that will generate 
the cultural system we want— not a eulogistic rhapsody about 
how glorious it will be when we get it done. 

As a locale, lets consider that the Utopian culture is to be 
started among the people living in, on, and among the asteroids, 
about seventy-five years hence. (The locale is not critical, of 
course; the machinery of government is designed for human 
beings; what devices they use, where they five, is of secondary 
consequence. ) 

To begin with, recognize that we are not going to get a culture 
that is the perfect heart's-desire system of every inhabitant. That 
is called Heaven. 

What we'll have to do is seek an optimum culture. It's an en- 
gineering problem, and should be approached as such. Many a 
time an engineer would like a material as transparent as glass, 
as strong and tough as steel, capable of resisting an oxidizing 
atmosphere at 25oo°C, as light as foam plastic, and as cheap as 
cast iron. And as conductive as copper. 

The useless engineer is the one who says, "See! They wont give 
me what I need! It's impossible to solve the problem!" The en- 
gineer who is an engineer starts figuring the optimum balance of 
characteristics that will yield not a perfect-ideal, but a thing that 
will work, and work with a reliability level high enough to be 
useful for the task at hand. 

Now one of the first and broadest questions usually raised is, of 
course, "What form of government should it be?" Monarchy? 
Democracy? Oligarchy? Communism? 

That question, I suggest, is of no importance whatsoever! 
Utopia can be a Communism, an Anarchy, or an Absolute 
Tyranny; the matter is of no real consequence. 

My evidence is quite simple: Traditionally, benevolent tyranny 
is the optimum form of government ... if you can just assure 
that the tyrant is, and remains, benevolent. Also, traditionally, 
both Heaven and Hell are absolute monarchies. 

Wise, benevolent, and competent rulers can make any form of 
government Utopian— and fools who are benevolent, kind, and 


gentle, can turn any form of government into Hell. Scoundrels 
need not apply; scoundrels normally have a reasonable degree of 
competence, and will, for their own benefit, maintain a higher 
standard of efficient government than will benevolent fools. Wit- 
ness the incomparable mare's-nest of the Congo, which has re- 
sulted far more from the blundering of fools than machinations 
of villains. Villains wouldn't have loused things up so completely; 
nobody can make anything out of the idealistic shemozzle the 
Congo's become. 

Anarchy is government-that-is-no-govemment. In other words, 
each individual citizen is his own ruler. Given that all the citizens 
are wise, benevolent, and competent, anarchy will produce a 
Utopia. Unfortunately, this requires that each citizen be in fact, 
not simply in his own perfectly sincere convictions, actually 
wise, benevolent, and competent. The observable norm of human 
experience is that the incompetent fool will show the highest 
certainty of his own wise competence, the strongest conviction 
that his answers can be doubted, questioned, even discussed, only 
by black-hearted, evil-minded villains who seek to oppose his 
good, wise intentions. 

Given that all the rulers are-in-fact wise, benevolent and com- 
petent, Communism works just dandy. The Catholic Church 
has certainly not opposed the concept of Communism— they had 
it centuries ago in various monastic orders. It's just that the 
Church objects to the actuality— the legalistic mechanisms— of 
Russian and Chinese style Communism. 

Since it can be pretty fairly shown that any form of government— 
from pure anarchy through absolute tyranny, with every possible 
shading in between— will yield Utopia provided the rulers are 
wise, benevolent, and competent, the place to start engineering 
our Utopia is with the method of selecting rulers. 

I suggest, in fact, that the only constitution Utopia needs is the 
method of selecting rulers. England has gotten along rather well 
for quite a period of time without a formal constitution; if they 
had a better system of selecting their rulers, no need for a con- 
stitution would arise. Wise rulers will change traditional methods 
of governmental operation when, but only when, the change is 


warranted. We need not bind future centuries with a code that 
now seems optimum; conditions can change rather drastically. 
Let us set up a method of selecting wise rulers— and then let 
their wisdom be fully free to operate. If they choose Tyranny- 
then it can be assumed that Tyranny is, for that time and situation, 
the optimum governmental system. With a wise tyrant, it is opti- 
mum in war, for instance. 

The problem is, was, and continues to be— "How to select the 
rulers?" Plato talked of "philosopher-kings" . . . but had a little 
difficulty defining them. The genetic system, based on the un- 
fortunately false proposition "like father, like son" has been tried 
very widely. Of course, it's heresy to say so in a democracy, but 
were members of the Constitutional Convention of the Minor 
Planetoids, assembled on Ceres, in 2035 A.D., and we can observe 
that, as a matter of fact, despite the inaccuracy of that father-son 
idea, the system worked about as well as any other that's been 
tried. For one thing, it gave England some three hundred years 
of highly successful government. It's still not good enough— but it's 
not completely worthless. It must be recognized as having a 
very real degree of merit. Aristocracy as a system has worked 
quite well indeed. 

Plato's philosopher-king idea runs into the difficulty that, even 
today, we haven't any battery of tests that can be applied to 
small children that will, with useful reliability, distinguish the 
deviant-and-criminal from the deviant-and-genius. Plato's system 
depended on spotting the youthful philosopher-kings and educat- 
ing them to the tasks of government; the system won't work, 
because we can't spot the wise-benevolent. 

It gets into further serious difficulty; the way to pass any test is 
to give the answers the examiner expects. It has nothing what- 
ever to do with giving the right answers. Consider a question like 
"Is the government of the German Third Reich a democracy?" 
In Germany, in 1941, the answer was, of course, "Ja!" In the rest 
of the world the answer was different. Incidentally, can anyone 
give me a standard dictionary definition of "democracy" that does 
not, actually, apply to Hitler's Reich? The forms of democracy 
were there, you know ... it was just that the rulers operating 
under those forms were not "wise, benevolent, and competent." 


Any formal technique of testing applicants for rulership will 
have, underlying it, some formal theory of what constitutes "wise, 
benevolent and competent" . . . which theory rather inevitably 
turns out to mean "like me." 

That's perfectly understandable; the men drawing up the con- 
stitution are, of course, playing the role of rulers, temporarily. 
They feel themselves to be wise, benevolent, and competent . . . 
or they wouldn't be trying. And, of course, basically everyone 
feels himself "wise, benevolent, and competent," with the ex- 
ception of rare moments when, in defense of justice, he has been 
forced to be malevolent and punish some wrong-doer who un- 
justly attacked his basic rights. Be it clearly recognized that a 
homicidal paranoic psychotic, who has just murdered fourteen 
people, feels deeply that he is wise, benevolent, and competent, 
and has courageously acted in defense of justice against great 
odds. They were all persecuting him, and he has simply rebelled 
against their tyrannies. 

Any method of testing, any formal, logical, reasonably worked 
out and rationally structured technique of selecting those fit to 
rule . . . will be structured according to the examiners' theories 
of what "wise, benevolent and competent" means. The use of 
any rationally designed test simply means that the rationality of 
the test-builders is clamped on the examinees. They pass if they 
agree with the test-builders. 

I suggest, therefore, that the selection of rulers must be based on 
some nonrational method! Some method which, because it does 
not involve any formal— or even hidden-postulate!— theory, will 
not allow any special philosophy of "wise, benevolent and com- 
petent" to be clamped on the future rulers. 

One possible irrational method would, of course, be selection 
by random chance. I think it's not necessary to go into details as 
to the unsuitability of that particular nonrational method. 

The method I propose is a nonrational method which, however, 
practically every logician will immediately claim is the very es- 
sence of rationality. It is, of course . . . in an ex post facto sense. 
I suggest a pure, nontheoretical pragmatic test. 

Of course, since the ultimate goal of rationality and logic is 


the mapping of pragmatic reality, there's a strong tendency for 
logicians to claim that any real, pragmatic test is logical. That's 
not a valid statement; while it is true that a chain of reasoning is 
valid if, and only if, it correlates with reality, it is not true that a 
thing is real only if it correlates with logic. 

A pragmatic test is, therefore, a nonrational test. It may be said 
that "It is rational to use a pragmatic test," but that doesn't make 
a pragmatic test a rational test. It does not depend on theory— 
and any rationality does. 

The only way we can maintain flexibility of viewpoint in our 
rulers is to make their selection immune to theoretical determina- 

Aristocracy operates on the theory that wise men have wise 
sons. The theory has value . . . but it isn't sound enough for 
reliable, long-term use. It gets into trouble because, theoretically, 
the son of the benevolent monarch will be benevolent, but prac- 
tice turns up a not-quite-drooling idiot every now and then— and 
the theory of aristocracy can't acknowledge that. 

The Communists hold the reasonable sounding proposition that 
only the politically educated should be allowed to vote. There- 
fore only Party members, who have been given a thorough edu- 
cation in political theory and practice, are permitted to vote. 
There's certainly a lot of sound value in that idea; it's not unlike 
Plato's carefully educated philosopher-kings as rulers. And suffers 
the same serious flaw; the way to pass an examination is to give 
the answers the examiner expects. The idea sounds good, but 
has the intrinsic difficulty that it rigidly perpetuates the political 
theories of the originators. 

A theocracy accepts that only the dedicated priest is fit to rule, 
because his dedication to things above and beyond this world, 
and his communion with God, make him uniquely qualified. That 
system's worked fairly well, now and then. 

Robert Heinlein, in his recent novel "Starship Trooper," pro- 
posed that only those who accepted the responsibility of defend- 
ing the nation in the armed forces should have the right to vote. 
There are very few systems of selecting rulers that have not been 
tried somewhere, somewhen; that military-responsibility test for 
rulers has been tried. It works very well ... so long as the mili- 


tary is run by wise, benevolent and competent instructors. That, 
however, as I've said, is true of any system of government what- 
ever. In actual practice, the Roman Legions became the effec- 
tive rulers of Rome during the Empire period— and the results 
were horrible. Anyone wishing to be Emperor need only bid for 
it, and if he offered the Legions enough money, they'd murder 
the current emperor, and install him. One Emperor lasted four 
days, as I remember it, before someone outbid him. 

This, again, is based on the theory tiiat the Legions should feel 

Finally, the theory of popular democracy says "Let everyone 
vote; do no selecting of rulers, and there will be no unjust rulers 
in power." 

That theory is fundamentally false, by ancient and repeated 
pragmatic test. Maybe it should be true, but it isn't. The most 
deadly dangerous, destructive and degrading of all possible rul- 
ers is installed in power when true Popular Democracy gets into 

The difficulty is this; the old saw that "Power corrupts; absolute 
power corrupts absolutely," is not quite correct. Power does not 
corrupt; no matter how great the power a man may hold, he will 
not become corrupt . . . if he is not also immune. It is immunity 
that corrupts; absolute immunity corrupts absolutely. I need very 
little power to be a force for unlimited destruction— if I am ab- 
solutely immune. 

Therein lies the key to that horrible mass-entity known as the 
Mob. A mob has no organization that can be punished; it is im- 

The members of the mob are immune through anonymity. It 
has huge physical mass-power; it is immune to the resistance of 
its victims, and to the opposition of any normal police force. Only 
an army can disrupt a mob; even so, the mob cannot be punished 
—called to account and its immunity broken— because it simply 
disperses, and no one of the ordinary citizens who composed it 
is the mob, or "belongs to" the mob. 

The immunity of the mob can produce a corrupting and de- 
grading effect that utterly appalls those who were swept up in it, 


afterward. No viciously sadistic affair in the Roman Arena ex- 
ceeds in corruption and degradation what a modern mob, any- 
where in any nation today, including the United States, will do. 
The mob will do things that not one member of that mob will 
consider doing. 

Immunity, and the sense of immunity, is the deadliest of cor- 
rupting influences. It is, in essence, simply the result of cutting off 
the normal negative feedback, the pain-messages that warn of 
excesses. Imagine yourself not only blinded, but deprived of all 
kinesthetic sense, so you could not tell where your limbs were, 
how hard your muscles were pulling, or whether you were 
touching anything; you would then be totally immune to external 
messages. You would certainly tear yourself to pieces in a matter 
of minutes. 

The record of history seems to indicate one fundamental law 
of civilizations: The Rulers must always be a minority group, or 
the culture will be destroyed. 

Note this: under the exact and literal interpretation of democ- 
racy, it is perfectly legitimate democracy for a ninety per cent 
majority to vote that the ten per cent minority be executed by 
public torture, in a Roman Arena style spectacle. 

The advantage of having the Rulers a minority group is that, 
under those conditions, no group has the deadly feeling of im- 
munity. The Rulers are a minority, and know it, and must rule 
circumspectly; like the mahout driving an elephant, they must 
rule always with the realization that they rule by sufferance 
only— not by inalienable right. 

The majority, then, knows it is ruled— that it is not immune 
to punishment, that it is not free to become a mob. 

True popular democracy— true rule by the majority— establishes 
the government of the mob. It was the growing influence of the 
people of Rome, under the venal and practically inoperative rule 
of the Legions— the Legions wanted money, not political respon- 
sibility; they were fools, rather than villains— that built up to the 
demand of "Corn and Games P and the consequences that fol- 

A minority group, aware that it is a minority group, is also 


aware of the problems of other minority groups through direct, 
personal experience. 

Long ago, Machiavelli pointed out that the Prince cannot rule 
in the face of the active opposition of his people; the Prince must 
rule circumspectly, for he is a minority. 

So whatever system of choosing Rulers we may select for our 
Utopia— it must be a system that never allows any group to 
achieve the position that, inevitably, every group wants to 
achieve— a position of security! The concept of "security* is, in 
essence, the same as "immunity"; I am secure if I am immune to 
all attack, or efforts to punish or compel me. The Rulers must 
never be secure; since they are to have the power of rule, they 
must not be a majority, so that there will be the ever-present in- 
security of the potential threat of the great mass of people. The 
majority, on the other hand, must never have security from the 
power of their rulers— or they become a self-destructive mob. 

This boils down to the proposition that we want a non- 
theoretical-rational test for selecting a minority group of people 
who will be, with high reliability, relatively wise, benevolent, 
and competent. 

The simplest test for this, that does not depend on the rationale 
and prejudgment of the examiners, is the one the founders of the 
United States proposed— and which we have rejected. It's quite 
nontheoretical, and hence has a tendency to be exceedingly irri- 
tating to our sense of justice— sense of "what ought to be." The 
test is simply whether or not a man is competent to manage his 
own affairs in the real world about him; is he a successful man 
in the pragmatic terms of economic achievement? 

The difference between a crackpot and a genius is that a genius 
makes a profit— that his idea is economically useful, that it re- 
turns more in product than it consumes in raw material. 

Now it is perfectly true that competence does not guarantee 
benevolence. But it's also true we have, for this argument, agreed 
that we re not designing a constitution for Heaven, but for Utopia 
—an optimum engineering system, not a perfect system. Inas- 
much as no one can define "benevolent," were stuck on that one. 
But we can say this with pretty fair assurance: a man who con- 


sistently injures his associates will not have a successful business 
for long. A man may hurt his associates quite commonly, and be 
highly successful— provided his hurts are, however painful, essen- 
tially beneficial. The good dentist is a simple example. But the 
man who injures will not be successful for long; the "painless" 
dentist who is incompetent, and uses lavish anesthesia to cover up 
his butchery, for instance, doesn't hurt his patients, but won't re- 
main in business long. 

The founders of this nation proposed that a voter must have 
five thousand dollars worth of property— a simple economic test, 
perfectly pragmatic tied with no theoretical strings about how he 
garnered his five thousand dollars. The equivalent today would 
be somewhat nearer one hundred thousand dollars. 

That particular form of the test is not quite optimum, I think; 
instead of a capital-owned test, an earned-income test would be 
wiser, probably. A man can inherit property, without inheriting 
the good sense of the father who garnered it. But earned-income 
is a test of his competence. 

It violates our rational-theoretical sense of justice, because not 
all men have equal opportunities for education, a start in busi- 
ness, et cetera. 

But we're seeking a non-theoretical, non- "just", purely prag- 
matic test, so that alone would not be an argument against the 
economic-success test. 

Also— to use the dental analogy in another context— if a certain 
man wants to be a dentist, and has never had the opportunity to 
study the subject, but sets himself up as a dentist, and wants to 
work on your teeth . . . why shouldn't he? Is it his fault he never 
had an opportunity to go to dental school? Why shouldn't he 
start trying out his own, original ideas on your teeth . . . ? 

Are you being unfair to him if you refuse to allow him to 
practice on you? 

And are you being unfair when you refuse to allow a man who 
never had an opportunity for an adequate education to practice 
on your nation's affairs? Look, friend— this business of running a 
nation isn't a game of patty-cake; it's for blood, sweat and tears, 
you know. It's sad that the guy didn't have all the opportunities 
he might have . . . but the pragmatic fact is that he didn't, and 


the fact that he cant make a success of his own private affairs is 
excellent reason for taking the purely pragmatic, nontheoretical 
position that that is, in itself, reason for rejecting his vote on na- 
tional affairs. 

There's another side to this pragmatic test, however; neither 
Abraham Lincoln, George Washington Carver, nor Thomas Edi- 
son ever had an adequate opportunity for education. The guy 
who bellyaches that his failure in life is due to lack of opportunity 
has to explain away such successful people as those three before 
he has any right to blame all his misfortunes on the hard, cruel 
world around. Those three individuals all get the vote, aristocrats, 
and formal intellectualists to the contrary notwithstanding. One 
un (formally) educated frontiersman, one Negro born a slave, 
and one nobody who never got beyond grammar school; three 
properly qualified Rulers. They made a success of their private 
affairs; let them have a hand in the nation's affairs. We do not 
care who their parents were; we need not concern ourselves with 
their children, for the children will vote only if they, themselves 
make a success of their own private affairs. 

Let's make the Test for Rulers simply that the individual's 
earned annual income must be in the highest twenty per cent of 
the population. This automatically makes them a minority group, 
selected by a pragmatic test. It bars no one, on any theoretical or 
rationalized grounds whatever; any man who demonstrates that 
he can handle his private affairs with more than ordinary success 
is a Voter, a Ruler. 

The earned-annual-income figure might be determined by 
averaging the individual's actual income over the preceding ten 
per cent of his life, taken to the nearest year. Thus if someone 
eighteen years old has, for two years, been averaging in the top 
twenty per cent— he votes. He may be young, but he's obviously 
abnormally competent. The system also lops off those who are 
falling into senility. It automatically adjusts to inflation and/ or 

It isn't perfect; remember we're designing Utopia, not Heaven. 
We must not specify how the income is earned; to do so would 
put theory-rationalizations back in control. If a man makes fifty 


thousand dollars a year as a professional gambler— he votes. Any- 
body who guesses right that consistently has a talent the nation 

There may be many teachers, ministers, and the like, who by 
reason of their dedication to their profession do not make the 
required income level. If they're competent teachers and minis- 
ters, however, they'll have many votes— through their influence on 
their students or parishioners. If they're incompetent, they will 
have small influence, and deserve no vote. 

The economic test does not guarantee benevolence; it does 
guarantee more-than-average competence, when so large a num- 
ber as twenty per cent of the population is included. And while 
it doesn't guarantee benevolence— it provides a very high prob- 
ability, for each successful man is being judged-in-action by his 
neighbors and associates. They would not trade with him, or con- 
sult him, if his work were consistently injurious. 

There are exceptions, those eternally-puzzling areas of human 
disagreement between sincerely professed theory, and actual 
practice. Prostitution is perhaps the clearest example; for all the 
years of civilized history, prostitution has been condemned. It's 
been legislated against, and its practitioners scorned ... by the 
same population that, through all the years of civilized history 
have continued to support in action that ancient and dishonored 

The people who voted to keep Prohibition on the books were 
also those who contributed to the high income of bootleggers. 

There are many such areas of human ambivalence; no theoreti- 
cal or rational solution appears to be in sight. The simple fact 
remains that, by popular vote-in-action, not in theory, prostitu- 
tion, illegal gambling, and various other socially-denounced in- 
stitutions continue to win wide popular support. 

So . . . Utopia still won't be Heaven. But maybe we can say it 
will never be a Blue Nose Hell, either! 

O.K., friends— now it's your turn! 

May 1961 


The ideas behind many a science-fiction story have revolved 
around problems of colonizing other worlds; it might be worth 
while to take a look at the history of colonization efforts here on 
Earth. We might get some vague idea of what approach to the 
problem will not work. 

So many times, history is disappointing to people, because it 
doesn't tell them what should be, or can be, done— it's almost 
entirely a record of tries that failed. Sure that's disappointing— 
but it can save a lot of future disappointment to take a look at 
the record of what things not to try again! 

Actually, of course, history also includes the record of things 
that did work . . . but because they did, and we use and accept 
them, we don't see them as "problems to be solved." Who needs 
answers to "problems" that are no longer troublesome, huh? 

We can start with three general situational possibilities; the 
planet to be colonized may be uninhabitable by any life form not 
already possessing a high-level technology, it may already be in- 
habited by subintelligent life forms, or it may have intelligence 

The first situation leads normally to a technological station— a 
research or technical-resource production system— rather than to 
a "colony" in the normal sense. Antarctica, here on Earth, may 
have scientific stations, and mining establishments may be in- 
stalled—but people aren't going to think of Antarctica as "home." 
The Island of Krakatoa isn't apt to be "home," either, however 
interesting to vulcanologists and biologists. 

What we're really interested in, of course, is the situation in- 
volving a planet with intelligent, but subtechnical indigenous life. 
(The super-technical inhabitants mean that we won't do any 
colonizing, naturally!) 

First, of course, we need a definition of "intelligent inhabitants." 
This question is about as easily answered as the one "What do 


you mean . . . 'human?" As of now, it seems to me that one way 
to distinguish the merely anthropoid from the humanoid— 
whether they have tentacles or sixteen legs!— comes down to the 
question of whether they have a society which acts as a quasi- 
conscious selective breeding system. If a tribe selects its own 
young— as early humans did in their "manhood rites" ceremonies 
—the critical step toward true intelligence has been taken. They 
have at that point, taken responsibility for their own fate upon 
themselves— they have started to determine their own destiny, 
right, wrong or indifferent, none the less the fate they are to have 
is determined by their own acts. 

We'll assume a series of planets having humanoid tribes, 
which are definitely beyond the beginnings of intelligence, and 
have already developed their own language, verbal traditions 
and co-operative cultural systems. There's a range of possibilities 
in such a situation. 

In simplified terms, the Terran-native relationship established 
can be: 

1. The Terrans simply push out the natives, destroying them 

2. The Terrans enslave the natives, and force them to work on 
the Terrans' projects— dig their mines, tend their fields, build 
their roads, et cetera. 

3. The Terrans move in with the natives, start building roads, 
digging mines, and sowing fields, hiring natives who work side 
by side with the Terrans. 

These are three extremes— three pure-state descriptions. None 
of them ever has been— or ever can be!— actually applied in its 
pure form. But each technique has been tried on Earth, and 
studying the results is most interesting indeed! 

System #1, pushing out and destroying the natives, is almost 
inevitable, do what you, with all good heart and intent, will un- 
der certain circumstances. If the cultural-evolutionary gap is too 
great, it becomes literally impossible to bridge the gap between 
primitive and highly technical cultural types. 

Human beings evolved. They didn't suddenly be human be- 
ings. Adam and Eve is a lovely legend— but there never was a 
First Man who was a Man in the modern sense, Homo sapiens, 


who sprang, full-evolved, from some anthropoid mother. Eve's 
mother was not a hairy-hided, bandy-legged, knuckle-walking 
gorilloid creature. 

Cultures evolve, after the humanoid inventors of culture have 
themselves evolved; cultures aren't born full-blown either. 

Genetics does count. It is perfectly true that there is a distribu- 
tion of talents among individuals in any humanoid group— that, 
in any humanoid group you will find some individuals brighter 
than the stupider individuals of a more highly evolved group. 
But that doesn't mean that the two groups have the same mean 

Studies of the Australian aborigines have shown that when the 
aborigines encounter the high-level technical culture of the Euro- 
pean colonists, their own cultural pattern disintegrates. Even 
when there is no effort whatever made to break down their primi- 
tive culture. The aborigines, however, had a culture so primitive, 
when white men first came there, that they had not yet evolved 
the nomad herdsman culture— they were, still, strictly wandering 
food-gatherers. The economic basis of their culture was still essen- 
tially identical with that of gorilla bands. For a period variously 
estimated as up to fifty thousand years, the aborigines had been 
isolated from the main stream of human cultural development 
and pressures. 

Curiously, the nearby Maori of New Zealand had a highly 
evolved Polynesian-type culture, with highly developed govern- 
mental systems, and a well-developed technology. 

What happened when European colonists moved into the two 
areas is most interesting. Note that the colonists coming to the two 
areas were, essentially, of one type— English cultural rebels. Many 
of the Australians were "colonists-by-request"— people deported 
for being too much of a headache to the home culture. ( Like the 
Irishman who was deported to Australia by order of the Queen 
. . . and whom Queen Victoria had to greet in full formal State 
honors, when he returned twenty-five years later, as the Prime 
Minister of Australia! ) The New Zealand colonists and the Aus- 
tralians were much of the same type, however. Middle-class 
English, Irish and Scotch, largely. 

In Australia, the colonists pushed the aborigines out of their 


way, destroying the native culture, taking the land, and driving 
the natives into the desert lands. 

The same type of colonists, in New Zealand, developed Coloni- 
zation Pattern #3— they moved in with the Maoris, worked with 
them side by side, and have developed New Zealand on a fully 
co-operative, communal basis. 

It's worth considering, at least, that the difference was not in 
the attitudes of the colonists . . . but the abilities of the natives. 
The Australian aborigines could not bridge the immense gap be- 
tween their food-gathering by turning over rocks and logs level, 
and the technological culture of the Europeans. The Maori could, 
and very promptly did. 

It is of interest in the current United Nations wrangles about "co- 
lonialism" and "colonial powers" that neither the Maori nor the 
Australian aborigines are making any complaints. 

The complaints are coming loudest from Africa; the complaints 
from Asian nations are far less vocal. And, incidentally, the Poly- 
nesians generally seem to have little feeling of being victims of 
"colonialism"— Hawaii might be taken as an example! 

Africa represented, almost entirely, a Type #2 colonization 
program— where the Europeans moved in and enslaved the na- 
tives. The Europeans moved in, and sought to work the natives— 
not work with them. In New Zealand, the Europeans worked 
with the Maori— shoulder to shoulder, building a new culture ben- 
eficial to both peoples. 

In Africa, a very different situation arose. There was the 
White, who was Noble, and did no manual work, and then there 
was the Black who was Inferior and did menial jobs. The char- 
acteristic of the system is that there must be no middle class. 
When the British in Kenya took over the highlands area, because 
of its favorable climate and rich soil— it became known as the 
"White Highlands"— they first drove the natives out, dispossess- 
ing them entirely, so that no African was allowed to own land in 
the White Highlands. But then they found that they had an 
acute shortage of labor to work their fields. They had fine broad 
and fertile acres . . . but no labor. The Africans, dispossessed 
of the best lands, nevertheless had more than enough land in the 


rest of Kenya, and had settled down to working their own very 
adequate lands elsewhere. Why, then, should they bother to serve 
the British land-holders as laborers, when they could work their 
own lands? 

The British solution to this was to limit the amount of land 
Africans could own arbitrarily. If the African couldn't have lands 
of their own, then they would have to work the estates of the 
noble land-holders. 

Given a few generations of this system, and you develop a 
nice, stable Feudalism ... if you make very sure no Middle Class 

Why didn't the land-rich, but labor-poor British of the White 
Highlands invite the several million land-hungry British farmers, 
and ex-farmers who'd been crowded into cities, to come to Kenya 
and help work the vast, rich lands? 

Impossible! It would have meant that Whites would have been 
doing the same kind of menial digging-in-the-Earth that was fit 
only for Blacks! It would have meant introducing the horrid idea 
that a man is a Man not because of his skin, or his racial back- 
ground, but because of what he is. It would have meant import- 
ing a middle class— creating a mixed-up situation like that in New 

But . . . the difficulty is that the problem was not all so one- 
sided. Certainly the British fell into a trap of folly in acting as 
they did. But, at the same time, the problem was not the same 
as the situation in New Zealand. 

The Africans were not culturally evolved as far as the Maori. 
There was a real problem on both sides; the gap between Euro- 
pean and African culture was not as great as that between Euro- 
pean and Australian Aborigine— but it wasn't as small as that 
between European and Polynesian. Polynesians, when the Euro- 
peans first arrived, had already worked out a very high level of 
"constitutional monarchy," with wise, and thoroughly workable 
democratic procedures for selecting their rulers. 

The Africans were, when the Europeans arrived, still in the 
level of pure ritual-tabu tribalism— with the exception of a 
Moslem-influenced fringe at the borders of the Sahara, and some 
of the Zulu tribes in South Africa. 

198 collected editorials from Analog 

When it's recognized that the same pretty generally homogenous 
people— the British— showed, under three different conditions, 
the three extreme responses to the colonist-native problem, it be- 
gins to appear fairly probable that the nature of the natives has a 
great deal to do with the thing! The British in New Zealand re- 
sponded by working shoulder to shoulder with the Maori; in Aus- 
tralia, they drove out the aborigines, but at no time sought to 
enslave them to work for them. Yet these same British, in Africa, 
enslaved the Africans. 

It's at least reasonable to raise the question whether or not the 
Africans were, themselves, responsible for that situation. 

The British had gone in in another section of the planet. Now, 
the African colonization is quite clearly in very dire straits. Aus- 
tralia and New Zealand are certainly healthy and happy and 
successful. And so is the British-founded North American coloni- 
zation. By contrast, the Spanish-founded North American coloni- 
zation achieved nowhere near as high a level of success in the 
same period. 

The United States represents a colony of the Type 1 system— 
the natives were pushed out and destroyed ... in major 

At this point, I think it's necessary to introduce a new term. 
"Genocide" has been defined as the murder of a people. I want 
to suggest something else; "geneocide"— the killing off of a gene, 
a particular characteristic of a people. 

In the United States today, the Mohawk people are, very defi- 
nitely, not killed off! Outside my office window, a new skyscraper 
is going up— with Mohawk high-steel workers completely domi- 
nating the scene. The Mohawk Valley in New York State is still 
a Mohawk valley, with neat and prosperous, well-managed farms 
run by Mohawk families. 

But the deadly Mohawk raiders, the killers that the colonists 
of two centuries ago feared and hated, are dead. That character- 
istic of the Mohawk people has been destroyed. The Mohawk 
high-steel workers have their work, because the Mohawk ap- 
pears to be blessed with a genetic immunity to fear of heights— 
which leaves his mind free to pay attention to what he's doing 
five hundred feet above the ground, instead of battling his in- 


ternal self-doubts and so missing his step. As one who cannot 
climb a twenty-foot ladder happily, I sincerely envy the Mo- 

In other words, in a high-level technical culture, the tendency- 
to-be-a-raider is a highly contra-survival characteristic, while that 
genetic immunity to fear of heights is a highly pro-survival char- 
acteristic. The interaction of the Mohawk people and the highly 
successful European cultural system produced a geneocidal ef- 
fect—but not a genocidal effect. 

Thus when a high-level culture colonizes an area where Type 
3 co-operative interchange is not possible, the natives may be 
driven out and destroyed— not, however, as a people, but as a 
genetic type. 

In an individual, the characteristic "homocidal mania" makes 
co-operation impossible; in rejecting that individual, we are not 
rejecting him, actually, but the intolerable characteristic that we 
are unable to separate him from. 

If the natives of an area are driven out and destroyed, it's 
usually because geneocide is necessary; genocide is not intended 
or wanted. 

Type 3 cultural interchange can exist only when there is mu- 
tual respect and mutual faith-and-trust. Such interchange with a 
group such as warrior-raiders is self-evidently impossible. They 
have homocidal mania as a Way of Life; you can't establish faith- 
and-trust respect with them. 

What are the conditions that do produce a mutual co-operative 
hybrid cultural system? 

When the Puritans first landed here, they learned, and learned 
rapidly from the local Indians. They adopted the Town Meeting 
system, the technique of planting corn in hills, with a fish for 
fertilizer. Both social and technical lessons were freely accepted 
and learned. 

The Indians did not learn anywhere nearly as rapidly from the 
Europeans. The Indians were happy to teach— to be superior to 
the stupid immigrants. But they weren't at all willing to be taught. 
The Mohawks were one of the most advanced Indian tribes; 
many of them did learn from the "stupid immigrants." 


The Maori were willing to teach . . . and be taught. 

Now you must respect a man to learn from him. You do not 
have to respect a man to teach him. 

But this doesn't mean that you have to respect a man in all 
things to learn some things from him. The true test of mutual 
respect, then, works out to the test of mutual learning-and- 
teaching. Where that exists, men can work side by side. Where 
it does not exist, co-operative co-endeavor becomes impossible. 
And the failure lies with the side that will not learn. 

The American Indians were pushed out by the white colonists 
in North America, because it proved impossible to establish co- 
endeavor. The Indian would not learn from the White . . . the 
Indian wanted to be a Noble Savage, which included not working 
for his living, not grubbing in mines for metals, or slaving in work- 
shops to forge and shape steel, or stewing vile chemical brews 
to make gunpowder. 

For some reason, the Noble Savage lost his homeland as a re- 
sult. Oh, he liked and happily used the White Man's guns; what 
he didn't accept was the White Man's hard work that produced 
those guns. 

We might add a new Beatitude: Blessed are the do-it-your- 
selfers, for they shall inherit the planets! 

The Spanish, in the Conquest of America, never got anywhere 
at all in any of the areas where there was not an already- 
developed hard-working civilization. The Aztecs, the Mayans, the 
Incas— these people worked and built their cities. The North 
American Indians had not reached that level of cultural evolu- 
tion; the North American Indians could not be enslaved, and the 
Spanish wanted only slave-worked areas. They were definitely 
not do-it-yourself addicts. 

The Spanish enslaved the less-highly-evolved cultures they en- 
countered . . . and here, the Spanish were playing the Noble 
Savage! They didn't want to work; they made the Aztecs and 
the Incas work, they taught the natives to build with new tech- 
niques, to mine iron, make steel tools, and establish industry. 

Curiously, the Noble Spanish lost their new homelands, as a 


Recommended reading on the situation in Africa today is Louis 
E. Lomax's small and very cogent book, "The Reluctant African." 
Lomax is an American Negro reporter, and a professor of Phi- 
losophy; he was in a position to observe data, and to evaluate 
what he observed, when he went through the length of Africa 
in i960. He reports one interesting and revealing incident— of a 
Ghana representative somewhat sneeringly commenting on the 
lower standards of living in Liberia and Ethiopia, the two Afri- 
can nations that have been independent for more than a few 
years. The Liberian representative replied, "We have not had the 
benefits of colonialism, as you have." 

It was the Ghana natives who built the roads, the cities, the 
telephone exchanges, the power plants . . . but it was Europeans 
who taught them how, and supplied the capital— which means 
the tools to make those tools, and the skilled labor to use them 

The Africans are in a somewhat peculiar position; they were 
not willing learners— as were the Maori— nor did they build what 
they now have themselves. (As the Aztecs and Incas had built 
even before the Spanish came.) 

It rather looks as though whether Colonization System 1, 2, or 
3 is installed depends far more on the nature of the natives, than 
on the determination or choice of the colonists. It was not a British 
policy to enslave the local natives— it was a Kenya policy, an 
African-area policy. But the same British acted differently in Aus- 
tralia, North America and New Zealand . . . because the natives 
were entirely different. 

When colonists go into an area— whether it be a continent or 
an alien planet— where the natives are too far below the cultural 
level of the colonists, the natives will be pushed aside. Type 1 
colonization system results. 

When the natives are somewhat higher, they will be enslaved 
—whether the colonists so choose or not, it appears. And that will, 
inevitably, result in the destruction of the colony, and a rapid 
rise in the cultural and living standards of the enslaved natives! 
In the long run the natives benefit far more than the enslaving 

If the cultural gap between natives and colonists is not too 


great, the colonists and natives will fall into the third pattern- 
mutual teaching and learning, and co-endeavor to establish a 
new, and vigorous hybrid culture. New Zealand, Hawaii, and 
Alaska all represent that pattern. 

At first glance, it may appear that the Eskimo had a very primi- 
tive culture indeed; in many respects he certainly did. But the 
Eskimo was a technologist par excellence; in his environment, a 
highly evolved social pattern wasn't essential to survival— but a 
highly evolved technology darned well was! The Eskimo has 
proven to have a fantastic degree of innate mechanical aptitude; 
a group of Eskimos who had never before seen an outboard en- 
gine or any other gasoline engine has been known to disassemble 
the device completely, and reassemble it in perfect running order. 
The Eskimo may have been retarded in his social development 
—but the masterpieces of mechanical engineering the Eskimo 
achieved demonstrate beyond doubt that they were a highly de- 
veloped people. They have been delighted to study and learn the 
White Man s engineering technology— and willing too, to teach 
the White Man their highly developed skills of arctic survival. 

In consequence, the Eskimo, like the Maori, has neither been 
driven out, nor enslaved. People don't tend to enslave or deport 
their schoolmates— their fellow-learners. 

April 1961 


I think that if I were the average Vietnamese, I'd want the Com- 
munists to hurry up and win the civil war, and get the Americans 

North Viet Nam is peaceful, has a stable government, clearly 
understood operational system, and very little confusion. A 
simple-minded man there is told what the score is, what he has to 
do, and how he is to do it, and all he has to do is carry it out, and 
things work out reasonably adequately. 

In South Viet Nam, the same simple-minded man doesn't know 
which end is up, and it wouldn't do him any good to know, be- 
cause next week some other end will be up. The Saigon govern- 
ment-as-of-today collects some taxes, then the Viet Cong bush- 
whacks the government troops, takes over, and collects some 
taxes. The Viet Cong has been collecting tolls for several months 
on a major highway between Saigon and one of the important 
northern cities. Theoretically, the highway belongs to the Saigon 
government, but they can't hold it and the Viet Cong can. 

The Buddhists want the Communists to take over, I suspect, 
partly because the Communists are strongly against religion in 
the Catholic sense. In most early-citizen-level cultures— Renais- 
sance Europe for instance— "freedom of religion" means that my 
religion is free to stamp out any and all rivals. Since Buddhism is 
closer to being a philosophy than a revealed religion, it's more 
compliant to Communist doctrine, and would, therefore, be less 
obnoxious to Communist bureaucrats. 

The major trouble, however, lies in the fact that the cultural 
level of Viet Nam's people is not something Americans under- 
stand, and the American political philosophy is about as appro- 
priate to them as snowshoes on a gazelle. 

We Americans are sort of sold on the idea of Equality for All, 


and Every Man His Own Philosopher. It doesn't work any too 
well, even for us— and we represent a cultural evolution that 
passed through the feuding-petty-states phase some five hundred 
years ago. (What's happening in southeast Asia today is very 
similar to what happened in southwest Eurasia— i.e., the Euro- 
pean peninsula of Asia— around 1200 to 1600. ) 

In the first place, the Equalitarian doctrine is probably fantasy, 
a flat contradiction of known reality. Imposing a fantasy on a hu- 
man population is always cruel; the further removed from reality 
the fantasy is, the more vicious the cruelty resulting. The Equali- 
tarian philosophy is somewhat like the Greek legend of the Bed 
of Procrustes. The tale hath it that Procrustes was a barbarian 
highwayman who, when he captured some traveling merchant, 
would entertain his captive at dinner— dining on the best of the 
victim's supplies— and then put him to bed in Procrustes' guest 
bed. If the captive was a little too short for the bed, he was 
stretched to fit; if he was too long for the bed, he was sawed off to 

Now if a man were a half -inch too short, it wouldn't be com- 
fortable, but it wouldn't be really unendurable; if he were four or 
five inches too short, the effect would be very different indeed. 
Of course, being even one inch too long produced an intolerable 

The fantasy of Equalitarianism insists that the distribution of 
characteristics in a human population has a distribution curve 
like this: 

It's flatly-contradictory-to-fact, because every test that biolo- 
gists, sociologists, psychologists, and other life-sciences research- 
ers have made shows that all biological organisms show a distri- 
bution curve approaching this: 

A population on whom the fantasy-equality curve is forcefully 
imposed has been strapped into a Procrustean bed, and the short 
stretched to fit, the long sawed down to size, and to hell with 
what this does to the victims. 

One of the worst aspects of this is that the philosophy that all 
men are equal has the logical corollary that "Since I am a man, 
and all men are equal, I know what all men are and want." 

And naturally, if some men don't want what you want, that 
simply means that they should be made to, because that's what's 
good for them, since it's good for you and all men are equal. 

Take a look at that second curve, remember that's the one that 
objective experiment shows exists in any biological population 
with respect to any measurable characteristic. This includes meas- 
urable psychological characteristics. 

To date, we cannot measure many exceedingly important sub- 
jective characteristics; tiierefore it is impossible to prove in any 
rigorous way that subjective characteristics vary among individu- 
als to the same degree, or in a similar manner. But the weight of 
evidence strongly suggests that that sort of curve applies equally 
to such purely subjective phenomena as the capacity for love, 
the pleasure an individual derives from doing X or avoiding do- 
ing Y, et cetera. 

Now since only individuals on the higher end of the distribu- 
tion curve have the talent necessary to achieve effective leader- 
ship, effective communication, and effective self-expression 
against the competition of everyone else trying to get their ideas 
attended to— the ideas that float around in a culture represent the 
thinking of only the high end of the distribution curve. 

How many morons have made their feelings clearly and ef- 
fectively understood by the general population? About the best 
they ever achieve is when some demagogue figures out a way to 
win the moron vote by promising to fulfill some inarticulate but 
intense desire of the morons. He does so not because it's good for 


the morons— it generally isn't, of course— but because the resulting 
moron vote is good for him. 

Now one of the greatest desires of the low end of the distribu- 
tion curve is a deep yearning for stability and security and free- 
dom from having to solve new problems. Freedom from having 
to generate opinions, make decisions, and think out solutions to 
problems. He wants a stable situation, with stable, workable and 
understandable (i.e., memorizable) answers. The answers don't 
have to be good; they simply have to be trustworthy. 

The deepest cruelty to this type of man is being stretched on 
the Procrustean rack that forces him to make his own decisions. 
"These decisions are killing me!" as the old gag puts it. 

An example right here in the United States is the question of 
"Fair Trade" pricing. Basically, this is a state-law backed guaran- 
tee that the customer shall always be forced to pay an inflated 
price for merchandise, said inflated price being required by law 
so that an efficient merchant cannot sell the goods at a lower profit 

That the merchants would be in favor of such a law seems 
obvious; but why were these "Fair Trade" laws, which assured 
the consumer that he would be equally gouged by all merchants 
popular with the consumers? That seems utterly incredible, 
doesn't it? Yet they were; consumers supported and applauded 
those laws that assured them that they'd get stuck with the same 
merchant's profit margin everywhere! 

Actually, it wasn't consumer groups that broke down the "Fair 
Trade" laws— it was merchant groups! The merchants were the 
ones who worked to have their inflated-profits guarantees re- 

Reason: Under "Fair Trade" laws, a man didn't have to shop 
around, judge quality and judge reliability of the merchant, or 
take trouble checking to see if he couldn't find a more efficient 
merchant who could operate on a lower profit margin. He could 
go into the first store he saw, say "Gimme one of them!", and walk 
out assured that he wouldn't find his next door neighbor had the 
same thing that he'd bought ten or twenty dollars cheaper from a 
more efficient merchant. 

It relieved the consumer of the pressure to use judgment and 


make decisions. It cost him an extra 50% or so— but he was happy 
to pay that to be relieved of the problem of deciding. 

Successful and efficient merchants get that way by having a 
high ability to make astute decisions, and accurately evaluated 
judgments. They have the talent in high degree— and they enjoy 
using it, as any man enjoys doing what he has a special talent 
for. The successful merchants wanted to be able to use their 
talent— and wanted, therefore, to get free of the rigid rules of 
"Fair Trade" pricing. 

People are not all equal. You may hold that the man who wants 
to serve another, have someone else tell him what to do, and 
when to do it is a vile, slavish, servile, despicable, not-a-real-man 
type. And so you make a decision for him, and command him to 
make his own decisions, and not listen to the instructions of wiser 
men— tell him he must stand up on his own feet, and think for 
himself. That's what's good for you, isn't it? And all men are 
equal, so it must be good for him, too, mustn't it? Just because 
he's a moron who isn't capable of such decisions is no reason why 
he should be relieved of the responsibility, is it? Make him do itl 
Lash him with scorn and public rejection and demean him if he 
tries to find someone he can trust and rely on and be loyal to. You 
wouldn't like to be that way, so obviously ( all men being equal ) 
he shouldn't like it; it isn't good for you, so you know it isn't good 
for him. 

Give him a slogan to be loyal to, instead of a judicious human 
being. Give him a slogan like "All men are equal!" that he can 
put his faith in, because slogans are always reliable, they always 

Our culture descends partly from the Roman and partly from 
the Jewish; the Christian philosophy is a hybrid of the two. Like 
most hybrids, it has some of the hybrid vigor resultant from com- 
bining good characteristics from both— and some of the weak- 
nesses resultant from including the worst of each. 

One of the worst we got straight from the Romans— who were 
great organizers, and lousy philosophers. That's the curious con- 
cept that The Law Is Infallible. (The Catholic Church has that 
as a doctrine, explicitly expressed, in terms of Papal Infallibility 
in matters of Faith.) 


A simple, clear, and yet rather subtle example of that doctrine 
of Legal Infallibility is the fact that if a man is tried and con- 
victed of a crime, and it is later discovered that it was a case of 
mistaken identity— the wrong man was convicted— the Governor 
of the State signs a pardon! 

How can you pardon a man for something he didn't do? 

It's the only thing you can do under the hidden-postulate rule 
that the Law is Infallible. You can't sign a Certificate of Exonera- 
tion; that would mean that the Law had been wrong! 

A couple centuries ago, the real Sheriff of Nottingham ( not the 
legendary one of Robin Hood fame!) was hanged for murder, 
because he had executed a tried and convicted criminal, acting 
on a death warrant that proved to have been improperly made 
out. Since he had killed a man without proper warrant, the exact 
punctilio of the Law (which is infallible, of course) had been 
violated, so he was guilty of murder, q.e.d.— with all the organized 
logic of the ancient Romans. 

This led to the establishment of the Court of The King's Con- 
science, or Court of Equity, wherein not Law, but Justice reigns. 

In "Merchant of Venice," Antonio is saved from losing a pound 
of flesh when Portia brings a point of legal punctilio to bear; Shy- 
lock can have the flesh only if he can take it without a drop of 
blood being spilled. 

The ancient Jewish tradition— which the Moslem tradition 
maintained, since it didn't go through the Romanization that 
Christianity did— holds that the law must never be used to de- 
stroy a man— i.e., that the purpose of Law is to achieve Justice, 
not mere logic. 

The concept of "A government of Laws, not of Men," is a Chris- 
tian concept— and means "I want to be ruled by a computer, not 
by men." 

The Jewish-Moslem tradition would never have hung the Sher- 
iff of Nottingham— and if Shylock had been a merchant of Con- 
stantinople, instead of Venice, he'd have collected his pound of 
flesh. Under the Moslem tradition, Antonio would have been 
guilty of trying to welch on a bet he'd made, simply because he 
found he was about to lose it. 

One result of the Christian doctrine of the Infallibility of the 


Law is that we have to have a trick correcting device we call 
"Mercy." Mercy's function is like that of the Governor's "pardon" 
for a man proven innocent— to allow a degree of Justice to be 
achieved when the Law, in strict application, would be irrational. 

A recent case, for example: A man was married, and had sev- 
eral children— and one day, disappeared. A decade later he was 
discovered in another city, married to another woman, estab- 
lished in another business. 

Now here is a clear case of bigamy. The Law prescribes penal- 
ties for bigamy. 

But in this case it was clearly demonstrated that the man had 
had an accident, and suffered total amnesia; psychiatric examina- 
tion established that he had no memory whatsoever of his previ- 
ous life. 

This is no problem under the Jewish-Moslem tradition; justice 
is readily apparent. 

Under our rigid Infallible Law doctrine, justice can be 
achieved only through "pardon," by application of mercy. 

Mercy is, in very large measure, a rationalization device by 
which we achieve a necessary result without admitting the un- 
pleasant truth— that the Law can, indeed, be an ass. 

By a simple extension of this principle, not only is Law infallible, 
but philosophical doctrines, and slogans are endowed with the 
same mantle of Infallibility. Thus Democracy is Always The Right 
Answer. And Equality For All Men must be applied everywhere, 
however many people it ruins. 

And Americans go into Southeast Asia, with those very alien 
cultural concepts driving them and the American people at home 
demanding that American statesmen apply those Eternal And 
Infallible Truths. And Southeast Asia has philosophical concepts, 
and problems, that Americans don't appreciate, and know must 
be wrong, because Americans know the Great Truths. 

The term "imperialists" that is so freely applied to Americans 
by the non-European section of the world is completely false. 
We aren't; we know it, and the Europeans— who share our cul- 
tural traditions— know it. 

It's not imperialism— it's a fantastic arrogance! We accept the 


doctrine of "I am my brother's keeper," and try to live up to it. 
Only— which the Thoughtless Liberal slogan-quoters overlook!— 
a "keeper" is someone who cares for and directs and controls 
someone who is incompetent or irresponsible, for that persons 
own good as the keeper sees it. 

Works fine, to the great advantage of all, if the keeper is right. 
But it turns into a cruel Procrustean Bed if the keeper happens 
to be wrong. 

Remember that Torquemada, the Spanish Inquisitioner, tor- 
tured and dismembered heretics in a great effort to make those 
poor sinners see their mistake, and confess their sins and shrive 
their souls. Because he knew that it was far, far more important 
to prepare for the eternal life to come than to be comfortable and 
healthy in this life. He was his brother s keeper, striving to rescue 
those incompetent and irresponsible souls from the danger of 
eternal damnation. 

Procrustes was at least aware that he wasn't helping his vic- 
tims! His arrogance was as nothing to that of Torquemada. 

We Americans are arrogant in Southeast Asia. Our governmen- 
tal concepts are completely inapplicable; our ideas of what's 
good for people apply only to people at a particular stage of cul- 
tural evolution— ours. What's good for a twenty-year-old genius 
isn't good for a twenty-year-old moron, and vice versa. What's 
good for a normal ten year old is a cruel imposition on a normal 
twenty-year-old. People— and cultures— are not equal. They 
shouldn't be; to think they should, or are, is to believe in an ab- 
solute fantasy— a fantasy any living-sciences student can prove 
completely. The distribution curve applies to all biological sys- 
tems—and a culture is a biological system, whether it's in a Petri 
dish or a nation. 

South Viet Nam quite obviously needs not a civilian democracy 
—which we arrogant Americans have sought to compel. The coups 
and countercoups would be utterly ridiculous— if they weren't 

Our efforts in the Congo have been accused of "imperialism," 
and know that charge to be false. What we've missed is that the 
correct charge is "arrogance" and, perhaps, "Procrusteanism." Or 
maybe we should call it "Keeperism." "For Their Own Good!" is 


a vicious concept, when it means stretching the victim to fit a 
bed that fits us so comfortably. 

What would we do if we should land on some alien planet, and 
find the local native race practices polygamy? Overlook the rele- 
vant fact that this race happens to have a two-to-one female-to- 
male birth ratio, and impose on them the Good Way of monog- 
amy? How shall we do it— kill off half the girl babies at birth, so 
the birth ratio becomes the Right One? How will our local ad- 
ministrators handle this problem— and satisfy the Folks Back 
Home who Know What's Right because they've grown up with 
Infallible Laws? Will those Folks Back Home allow the adminis- 
trators to maintain that awful-hideous-immoral system of po- 

It's a lot easier to see the problems when we transplant them 
to a visibly-alien environment— but they're fundamentally the 
problems we're faced with on Earth. 

Why is North Viet Nam so much less turbulent than South 
Viet Nam? "Well of course! They've got a tyrannical military 
dictatorship of oppressive Communists holding them in suppres- 

Oh? That there's a military dictatorship of Communists is un- 
questionably true. But as I say— if I were an average Vietnamese, 
I'd prefer that "suppression" to the tragic-opera coup and coun- 
tercoup that the South Vietnamese have to try to live with. 

Indo-China, under the French, was reasonably integrated and 
peaceful— because the French supplied the military dictatorship 
force to keep it that way. It fit the Vietnamese about the way a 
French sabot— the wooden shoe— would fit the barefoot peasants. 
But it did provide something stable and organized. 

Remember that American consumers wanted "Fair Trade" laws 
that guaranteed the merchants would have to gouge them for in- 
flated profits— because they wanted organization that freed them 
from having to make decisions and work out problems. That 
American workmen want unions, that take care of their prob- 
lems, even when those unions are run by crooks who gouge them 
and steal half the union funds. 

Under such a system, the people involved know who's gouging 


them, and the gougers give them, at least, some stability in re- 
turn for a tolerable gouge. 

Under our idealistic system that we've been imposing on South 
Viet Nam, we've given them a guarantee of no stability, and im- 
posed on them a you-have-to-make-decisions plan. 

And, very simply, they don't want it. 

Incidentally, it's of interest that the ex-French colonies— and ex- 
Belgian, who have a very closely allied philosophy— around the 
world have shown a vastly greater degree of explosive turmoil, 
when returned to their own devices, than have the ex-British 

It's interesting then to compare the British tradition of domes- 
tic self-discipline, of individual responsibility, with French tradi- 
tions—as manifested, for example, in the Frenchman's approach 
to taxes. The French government gave up trying to get French- 
men to be even remotely honest in reporting taxes, and uses a 
system whereby the tax collector bases the income tax assessed 
against an individual on the outward manifestations of income. 
His income tax is based on an estimate of the value of his house, 
what kind of car(s) he drives, servants employed, his wardrobe, 
et cetera. What the tax-collector misses on misers, they make up 
on spendthrifts. 

The British have a deeply implanted tradition of individual 
personal responsibility and law-abiding behavior. 

Darned if it doesn't look like they succeeded in transplanting 
at least some of that in their colonies! 

Viet Nam, being an ex-French colony, has a rather low index of 
respect for the central government and the honesty of bureauc- 
racy—because the citizen considers it his right and sensible duty 
to cheat where he can. Naturally, he expects the same from the 
bureaucrat. If caught, he will, of course, pay up graciously; after 
all, it's the way the game is played. 

On top of this is a layer of Communist indoctrination. 

Under it is five thousand years of oriental-style feudalism, with 
virulent local-nationalism. 

And we Know The Right Answers for these people? 

All evidence indicates that what's needed is a strongly central- 
ized military dictatorship, with a powerful and stable bureaucracy 


that is rigidly honest. (Enforced by death penalties, not slaps on 
the wrist and fines. ) You don't get that sort of rigid honesty, with 
enforcement that means enforcement, without a military system. 
A civilian system wont do it— and the Vietnamese won't have 
any trust-respect for a civilian system. (They had one for years; 
they know about those.) 

It also requires a powerful, oppressive military dictatorship to 
make the Montagnards co-operate with the lowland farmers, and 
the demeaned and rejected fishermen, and the city people. The 
city-people don't respect those backwoodsmen, or the peasants- 
on-the-farms, or the smelly fishermen. The fisherman has no trust 
or respect for the landlubbers of any stripe. And, of course, the 
peasants know that all non-farmers are out to cheat him of his 
land, his produce, and his freedom. 

These people arent Americans, with American traditions and 
experiences. They're an alien people, with alien traditions— alien 
even to each other!— and a lifetime of experiences of a very dif- 
ferent kind. 

Democracy in Viet Nam? Dont be so stupid! In a culture- 
conglomerate wherein every group knows that there are only two 
possible situations— either you are Exploited or you are powerful 
and are an Exploiter? That's not Communist indoctrination— it's 
their life experience! Democracy? That means, to them, that die 
gang that gets the most votes has a right to destroy their rivals. 

Remember the exact and literal interpretation of Democracy 
says it's "Rule by the majority." O.K.— and the Nazi majority in 
Germany passed laws that made killing Jews legal. That's Democ- 
racy in Action, bub— and don't forget it! You may forget it, and 
it may not be what you mean by Democracy in Action— but take 
a wide-open-eye-and-mind look at the Emerging Nations and 
how they practice Democracy in Action. Particularly the ex- 
French colonies, with a lower index of individual responsibility. 
Isn't that definition of Democracy In Action precisely what 
they've tended to try to put into action? 

If you were an average Vietnamese, which would you prefer? 
Democracy In Action or Communism? 

Sure, there are hundreds of alternative choices besides those 
two. But remember— if you were an average Vietnamese, you 


wouldn't know about those; those two you Ve had experience with. 

The problem isn't American Imperialism. 

But the problem of American Keeperism is very real. We know 
all the answers, we do. That's why we have no troubles of our 
own at home, and so can tell everybody else how they should be 
running their affairs. Even if those other people are very widely 
different from ourselves, because we know they aren't since All 
Men Are Equal. 

July 1965 



The essential concept of truth-seeking is that a truth must be ac- 
cepted, whether it is favorable or unfavorable, desired or dreaded, 
whether it means riches and happiness, or stark madness. There 
is, in the concept of the Scientific Method, the fundamental 
proposition that there are Laws in an ordered Universe; that we 
must learn those laws— whether we like them or not. 

During the last four years, I've been investigating psi; I started 
the investigation largely because it has been a background ele- 
ment in science fiction, almost from the start. Telepathy has been 
stock business. E. E. Smith's Lensman series was based primarily 
on psi— for the Lens itself is, essentially, a psi machine. 

With the development of science into engineering proceed- 
ing at the pace it has, by 1950 the major developments that science 
fiction had been forecasting were definitely under engineering 
—not theoretical— study. It was time for us to move on, if we were 
to fulfill our function as a frontier literature. 

To some extent, science fiction moved on into the social sciences 
—sociology, anthropology and psychology. 

Item: Dr. Rhine originally started his investigation of psi be- 
cause, as a professional psychologist, he had come to the con- 
clusion that psychology-as-such lacked an essential element. 
You would have an exceedingly hard time working out biochem- 
istry, if your chemistry hadn't discovered nitrogen, for example. 
Rhine's studies led him to suspect something about as important 
as nitrogen to biochemistry was missing from psychology. 

Item: Every anthropologist is aware of the important part 
magic— the psi phenomena under their older name— plays in hu- 
man cultures. 

Item: Every sociologist is aware that you can't make a popula- 
tion behave in a logical manner— cultural superstitions defy log- 
ical analysis, logical argument, and logical forces. 


I was forced back toward psi, even when science fiction started 
toward the social sciences. 

Since I published the editorial in the February 1956 issue, sug- 
gesting running material on psi machines, I have been receiving 
quantities of information, from hundreds of sources. 

I have an advantage that few people have; there are people 
all over this planet reading Astounding, and for many it evidently 
has a veiy personal meaning. I hear from them. I can't answer 
all; many times no individual letter, or clipping, or reprint sent 
me has much specific value. But they, taken together, form a 
sort of Ishihara Color Vision Test phenomenon; no one mass of 
any one color on the Ishihara Color test disks has any meaning- 
it's the pattern made of hundreds of individually meaningless 
dots of pastel color that build the pattern. 

I've written a bit about the Hieronymus machine; recendy 
we ran an item about the pipe-locators used by W. F. Marklund 
of the City of Flint, Michigan. A considerable number of people 
tried the Hieronymus machine; it proved to be a repeatable ex- 
periment in the best scientific sense. Individuals instructed only 
by the printed word were able to duplicate the phenomena. 

But I have not reported even one per cent of the data that 
has come to my attention. I visited the George de la Warr labora- 
tories when I was in England for the 1957 Science Fiction Con- 
vention. I've visited other psi-machine laboratories in Canada, 
and the United States. I've watched illegal— but beneficial!— 
medical diagnosis and treatment by psi machine. I've seen records 
of psi machines used to destroy insect pests in crops. 

That, by the way, was a particularly interesting item. The 
State Department of Agriculture checkers were asked to check 
the experiment. They did so; standard Department of Agricul- 
ture evaluation techniques were used— alternate strips on farms 
scattered over five counties— some ninety farms in all— were 
treated, while intervening strips were left untreated as control 
patches. The checks were made at intervals by Department of 
Agriculture employees. 

At the end of die season, tiieir figures showed that ninety-five 
per cent of the Japanese Beetles on die test plots had been killed. 

And at that point, for the first time, the Department of Agri- 

we must' study psi 219 

culture learned that their checks had not been made on a new 
chemical insecticide. 

The Department immediately refused to acknowledge the re- 
sults of their tests. There's no use writing me to ask which state 
it was, because that state department will deny the check's valid- 

The treatment was made by treatment of photographs, at dis- 
tances ranging from one hundred twenty feet to five hundred 

This treatment has, incidentally, shown equally sound evidence 
of its ability to successfully combat Dutch Elm Disease, and Oak 
Wilt, which cannot be stopped by any orthodox technique. 

Any anthropologist can tell you that the "superstitions" or magical 
concepts of North American Indians, Australian aborigines, Afri- 
can Negroes, Chilean Indians, the ancient Chinese, the early 
Norse, the Polynesians, and the Mediterranean peoples contain 
many identical concepts. These peoples have not had commu- 
nication for many thousands of years— particularly the Australian 

Now while I do hold that democracy can go too far, I also hold 
that democracy has a great, deep value— and the essential of that 
value might be phrased "You cant fool all the people very long." 
A completely functionless belief won't fool all the people for tens 
of thousands of years. 

There must be a factor in the Universe itself which those im- 
mensely widely scattered peoples have, independently, experi- 
enced, and experienced with sufficient regularity to make those 
concepts remain part of human cultures. 

Ours is the only culture that officially denies Magic. And . . . 
ours does not, by several millennia, qualify as a "very long" cul- 
ture. The denial of magic is only about three centuries old. You 
can fool a large percentage of a people for that short a period 
of time. 

The psi machines I've encountered work— and they work on 
precisely the same ancient laws of Magic that those wide-scattered 
peoples have, independently, accepted. 

I've had that point countered by "Yes, but the common factor 


is the nature of Man— he wants it to work that way! Therefore 
peoples everywhere have accepted it. It's human nature, not 
reality, at world" 

Oh? Then how come human nature evolved that tendency? 
How come no mutations came along to produce a human variant 
without that time-effort-energy wasting tendency, huh? Why is 
it, then, that no human culture, anywhere, has survived even 
three generations after giving up the interrelated concepts of 
magic and religion? 

If that is, as stated, a fundamental of human nature . . . why? 
We can understand why resistance to disease is a fundamental of 
human nature— and why a breed that loses that resistance dies 
out suddenly. 

All right— 111 accept that the explanation for the similarity of 
beliefs among Australian aborigines, Tierra del Fuegians, Afri- 
cans, Eskimos and Polynesians is due solely to the fundamental 
similarity of human nature the whole world over. 

Why is human nature that way? 

And so long as psychologists, anthropologists and sociologists 
insist "We know it shouldn't be that way," without bothering to 
study why all human peoples are that way . . . why, so long they 
are apt to miss the fundamentals of the fields they are interested 

You cannot escape studying Magic, denying that there is any 
common phenomenon in the Universe, by saying "It's just human 
nature." Because if you say that, then you are duty-bound to ex- 
plain why human nature continues to be that way, millennium 
after millennium. If it is in truth wasted effort, then any people 
who abandoned magic would have conserved that effort for other 
things, and would have been able to displace the competing 

Why is Magic fundamental in all human peoples? 

I suggest that the answer is "Because there is a set of phenom- 
ena in the Universe that requires intelligent entities to have that 

Like it or not, Marklund in Flint, power company engineers 
in England, steel plant maintenance engineers in Bethlehem, 


^ 1 8". *j 


V A " copper tube U 

■ '* v * ~ i/ 8 " metal rod 

S copper-brass 

Make Two aluminum-iron 

y what-have-you 


The Pipe Locator drawing above shows the type used by many practic- 
ing utilities engineers, the not-inhibited-by-theory types, for locating 
buried pipes and/or cables. In use, they are held like a two-gun West- 
erner's two guns, pointing straight ahead, and at about chest height. 
Walk back and forth across the area under investigation, trying to inter- 
sect the line of the hunted pipe. The rods will swing to parallel the line 
of the pipe as you cross it— either swinging away from each other, or 
crossing each other. Which reaction turns up seems to depend on the 
individual, not on the rods. 

About eighty per cent of the adults seem to get results; if you don't, 
let your friends and associates try. 

Using them seems to be somewhat like "learning to hear"; anyone 
with functional ears can hear— but it takes some training to interpret 
what you hear; e. g., distinguishing the sounds produced by a thrush 
from those of a robin or blue jay. At first use of the rods, you'll tend to 
react to all buried conduits; with practice, you'll become more sophisti- 
cated in interpretation, and distinguish between, say, water, gas, and 
sewer pipes. 

The operation of these rods is scientifically impossible and is, logi- 
cally, nonsense. This is extremely interesting, because they work— which, 
under the rules of the Scientific Method, means that the theory that 
Science embraces all real phenomena has encountered the fact that it 
doesn't, and must, therefore, be abandoned. Suggested modification; Sci- 
ence and only Science explains many real phenomena. 

Pennsylvania, and in a hundred other places, use dowsing rods to 
locate underground lines that they are interested in. An engineer 
with a job to do doesn't give a damn whether the tool he uses is 
scientifically sound; he does care that it works for him. 

And they're very strange tools indeed; for Marklund, the rods 
locate water pipes, and don't react to buried power cables. For 
power company engineers, they react faithfully to buried cables, 
and are not thrown off by buried water, gas, or sewer pipes. For 
the steel company engineers, they locate buried pipes of any 
kind; the engineers want to know where the pipes are so that, 
in driving piling, they won't hit them. 

Science has ducked the issue of studying psi very simply; it has 
denied that there is any phenomenon to study. 


In doing so, it is denying a truth— an unpleasant, perhaps 
disastrous, truth. 

The Department of Agriculture I mentioned didn't continue 
their investigations— they denied them. 

The engineering use of dowsing rods is widespread today, in 
the United States, in every state of the Union. There are com- 
panies manufacturing dowsing rods such as Marklund uses, and 
they can be bought from suppliers anywhere in the country. 

One company manufacturing them is the Jayco Company, of 
Birmingham, Michigan; they sell them as the Ayco Pipe Loca- 

They are used, strictly at the engineering rule-of-thumb level, 
by men who find they do a job no other known device will do. 
They are, simply, pragmatically economical of time and effort. 
Such men will not waste their time and effort convincing you they 
work; they have a job to do, and if you don't like their tools, that 
is, of course, your business, so far as they're concerned. 

Science, I can say flatly, with plenty of solid evidence to back 
it up, is wrong. Dowsing rods, used to locate pipes underground, 
do work. Science is simply, explicitly, wrong in denying the 

And this, I propose, is the place that we must start study- 
ing. We must, whether we like it or not— and believe me, from 
what little studying I've done, we won't like it. 

Psi phenomena exist at the same level that emotion, desire, 
and want do, as far as I can make out. If that's the case, then in 
studying the psi phenomena, you're studying the level which men, 
today, hold to be the ultimate level of privacy— Subjective Reality. 
An understanding of the laws of this level would make it possible 
to manipulate desire, change attitudes, control emotions. 

And that, of course, no man wants possible. 

Of all the things Logic and Philosophy and Science have investi- 
gated, Emotion, certainly one of the most tremendously important 
in all human affairs, has been least investigated. Essentially, 
Science and Logic and Philosophy have agreed on only one thing 
for sure; "It shouldn't exist! Get rid of it! It just fouls everything 
beyond hope of straightening out! Stop it— destroy it— stamp it 


Psychology, of course, has had to deal with the anathematized 
stuff. But even psychology seeks to eliminate it from patients; 
it's an unfortunate, intractable human weakness that must be 
dealt with. 

A logician's attitude toward emotion is startlingly similar to 
that of a Victorian maiden lady toward Sex. The nasty stuff 
shouldn't exist, and certainly decent people won't talk about it or 
investigate it. 

Emotion is, essentially, beyond any possibility of logical analy- 
sis; it's an individual's reaction to his perception of subjective 
reality. And so long as "subjective" has the semantic connotation 
of "not real," logic certainly isn't going to be able to get a real 
solution to the problem. 

I suggest that Subjective Reality bears the same relationship to 
Objective reality that field-forces do to matter. Field forces are 
not material; they obey wildly different laws— but they do obey 

I suggest that Subjective Reality is a true, inherent level of 
reality in the Universe. It's no more something exclusively gen- 
erated by human minds than "organic" chemical compounds were 
exclusively generated by living organisms. For all men knew, as 
little as one hundred fifty years ago, the ability to perceive 
light was a subjective mystery; no known inorganic system had 
the ability. 

It took the development of quantum physics to explain the in- 
teraction of electromagnetic radiation and matter sufficiently to 
make photoelectric cells possible. Eyes, however, had been 
around for some megayears before that. 

To date, no interaction between psi forces and either material 
or fieldforce phenomena has ever been discovered. Considering 
the extreme resistance to serious study of psi phenomena, how- 
ever, that's not exactly surprising. Isaac Newton tried, Oliver 
Lodge tried— and their efforts in that direction have been hushed 
up as the indiscretions of two otherwise great men. Probably they 
didn't have enough data on either psi phenomena or physics 
when they worked; maybe something more useful could be 
achieved now. 

And we must achieve it. 


Every human effort to build a dynamically stable civilization— 
every effort, without exception— has foundered on the problem of 
emotions, desires, and the demogoguery that those uncontrolled 
wild variables introduce. 

And the very best advice Logicians, Philosophers and Scientists 
have had has been . . . "There shouldn't be any such things! Sup- 
press diem! Deny them! Do away with them!" 

And, every time without exception, they have, instead, done 
away witii the philosophers, logicians, scientists and egg-heads. 

You can't control a phenomenon by denying its existence. You 
can't control it by suppressing it either; suppression simply causes 
an energy-storage effect that leads to eventual explosive release. 
If there's a river flowing through a valley where you want to build 
a city, it's rather futile to simply build a dam to block the river; 
eventually the dam will be burst by the building pressure, and 
the city wiped out in the resultant flood. 

A phenomenon can be controlled only by acknowledging it, 
studying it, understanding it, and directing it usefully. Properly 
handled, that river should be dammed, channeled through tur- 
bines, and made to supply the city with light and power. 

But emotion is the despair of logicians; it is inherently non- 
logical. It's the effort to force it into logic-only channels that 
causes the explosions that wreck every culture Man has ever built. 
Uniformly, repeatedly, one hundred per cent of the cases on 

Evidently what we need is a nonlogical technique of analytical 
thinking— a method of thinking that is more-than-logical. A not- 
logical-but-rational technique. 

Trouble is, every individual is internally convinced that he's al- 
ready solved the problem, and is using it right now. And is 
emotionally willing to work, fight, and, in fact, die for its con- 
clusions. His method of fighting may, for emotional reasons, be 
limited to a simple absolute refusal, even if he is killed for it— 
but Ghandi demonstrated that that, too, is a means of destructive 

We must study psi, because it is the only objectively observ- 
able set of phenomena stemming from subjective forces. 

Logic was developed and corrected and forged into a reliable 


tool because objectively observable phenomena could be used 
as a check on the validity of logical methods. Logic that didn't 
correlate with objective phenomena could be eliminated, and 
logical methods that did work could be proved— in the more an- 
cient meaning of "tested"— by objective experience. 

The psi phenomena represent subjective phenomena that can 
be observed objectively. 

When a man uses dowsing rods, the rods don't do anything but 
act as indicators— the man does it. He uses some subjective-level- 
of-the-universe phenomena; he does it, not the rods. 

But he does something that isn't scientific, in the truest sense 
of that statement; the phenomena involved are hyper-scientific. 
If "natural" and "scientific" are correlated on a one-to-one basis, 
then what he does is truly supernatural. 

Fine; now we know that, and acknowledge that, let's start look- 
ing into the nature of the supernatural. It, too, must have laws! 

In order to understand psi, we are going to have to develop a 
totally new kind of analytical thinking; known psi phenomena 
violate the inverse square law, the distance-law, and every other 
basic law of Science and Logic. They violate the basic law of 
Semantics; the map is the territory! What is done to the map, is 
in fact done to the territory— and treating a photograph kills Jap- 
anese beetles on a farm five hundred miles away. 

That is absolute scientific nonsense— logically impossible! 

Good; now inasmuch as it does happen . . . what are the laws 
of thought, of analytical thinking, that do explain such things? 
Let us fully understand and agree that it is scientifically impos- 
sible, and logically nonsense. 

But let us be honest; we do not annihilate the phenomenon 
by denying the fact that it happens. 

As of now, Russia's got us licked at the level of science and 
logic. We're ahead by reason of progress we made earlier, but 
our rate of acceleration has dropped way down, while theirs is 

In Russia, people truly desire science. 

In the United States, they do not desire science, and do desire 
stability and traditions. 


We must study psi— even though it will mean development of 
techniques that will force you, against your will and wish, to de- 
sire things that, today, you loathe. 

And such psi phenomena as dowsing rods that work for eighty 
per cent of the people, when used to locate buried pipes, are key 
facts— objectively observable phenomena— that can lead to break- 
ing the problem of subjective-level reality. 

If it was important for the United States to develop the ther- 
monuclear bomb . . . then 

We must study psi! 

January 1959 


Oxygen An intensely habit-forming accumulative toxic 
substance. As little as one breath is known to produce a 
life-long addiction to the gas, which addiction invariably 
ends in death. In high concentration, it causes death 
quickly, but even in 20 per cent dilution few survive more 
than 0.8 century. 


For most of the years I've been editing this magazine, the var- 
ious non-science fictioneers who have, at one time or another, 
deigned to investigate this odd-ball phenomenon, have reported 
on it as a peculiar form of "escape literature/' For all of those 
years, that's intensely irked me. Science fiction, in my opinion, 
is not, was not, and will not be an escape literature. 

I'm beginning to see, though, that the various psychologists, 
sociologists, litterateurs, et cetera, et al., who have reported on 
it as an escape literature did have some reason for their state- 

What's finally brought that home to me is the reactions that 
have followed the launching of Sputnik— and, to a slower time 
scale, the explosion at Hiroshima. 

Most of us in science fiction felt that the introduction of the 
atomic bomb, and the nuclear power reactors, validating the con- 
cepts we had been presenting for years, would bring a rise in the 
science-fiction field. 

It did ... for a few months. And that was followed by a 
marked decline, which swept out of the field quite a few maga- 
zines that had hastily tried to "get into the act." 

The reactions to Sputnik have been more rapid, and, therefore, 
more readily perceptible and correctable. There was, again, a 
sudden rise in interest in science fiction . . . and there is, now, an 
even more marked dropping of the science-fiction interest. A num- 
ber of the magazines have been very heavily hit. 

I think, now, I know why. 

Imagine a man who came across an old, Fifteenth Century 
Grimmoire, full of magical formulas and incantations, and di- 
rections for summoning demons. Intrigued and amused by the 
old superstitions, the pompous ridiculousness of the things the 
old boys believed, he shows it to a number of friends. They de- 


cide it'll be a wonderful stunt for a Halloween party, and go 
through the ancient rigmarole for summoning a Demon. 

And there is the Demon. 

Only because it was just a lot of ridiculous flubdubbery, the 
amateur magicians didn't bother to draw the protective spell of 
the pentacle. They thought the old boys were kidding . . . 

I think the people of the United States thought we were kid- 
ding, too. And then . . . there was Sputnik. And we hadn't both- 
ered with the protective spell of the pentacle; all we had was 
the Pentagon. 

I think they thought we were kidding. That nuclear weapons 
and space flight were amusing ideas to play with . . . nonsense, 
of course, but amusing nonsense . . . 

Apparently, they thought that science fiction was an escape 
literature, and read it as such. 

It happens that science fiction's core is just about the only 
non-escape literature available to the general public today. Se- 
cret military reports of course are non-escape literature; they dis- 
cuss satellite stations, bases on the Moon, antigravity devices 
and the like. They're being discussed in those reports because 
the men who write them find themselves grimly, terribly, forced 
to face the woeful reality that things change, and new factors 
come into action. That there is no security in knowing all the an- 
swers to all the known forces . . . because new forces arise. 

The essence of "main stream literature" is that There Are Eternal 
Truths And Nothing Really Changes. 

Sure, die Fundamental Things Remain . . . but their value 
changes. Instincts several hundred million years old remain in 
Man . . . but they no longer constitute the dominant force in Man. 
Man still has a sex instinct— but it no longer dominates him so 
that he is driven to rape any available female. The Ancient Fun- 
damentals make the entire body of mainstream literature— which 
is, today, almost one hundred per cent purely escape literature. 
The soft, almost formless, nearly pointless stories found in the 
mass-circulation magazines are a wonderful retreat from the real- 
ity that is somewhat more fundamental than the ones they choose 
to consider. 


It's nicer to say that evolution is based on the survival of the 
fittest; it's more honest to recognize that it is based on the elimina- 
tion, the culling out, of the incompetent. That the Universe is not 
cruel, but it is quite definitely ruthless. You're allowed a weak- 
ness ... if you pay for it with a greater strength, but the pay- 
ment must be laid on the line, not promised sometime when it's 

Furthermore, we can't buy the Universe; we can't purchase 
clear title to it. We can only rent space, and the rent on the top- 
floor space we happen to prefer is simply "achieve more than 
anyone else in the building does— and that means more than you 
yourself did last year." 

When we fail with that rent, we lose tenure; we join the rest 
of the culls that Evolution keeps removing. 

You don't find anything of that theme in the main-stream lit- 
erature; it's an uncomfortable lump that wouldn't be nice in an 
escape literature. 

So quite a few people took to reading science fiction and fan- 
tasy, because they thought both were fantasy— escape literature 
about safely, comfortably impossible things like atomic bombs 
and vampires and orbital satellite rockets and werewolves. 

When Hiroshima winked out of existence, some of them were 
sufficiently disturbed to go back to reading about less unpleas- 
ant, more immediate, "realer" things like problems of being 
fired by the boss for incompetence. But they still thought we were 
kidding— that it was just bad luck that those weird, and therefore 
safe, imaginings happened to come almost true. 

Besides, it was our atomic bomb, wasn't it? So it wasn't quite 
so bad ... it was our own, private, well-guarded secret. 

But Nature is, of course, a blabbermouth; she'll tell anybody 
who asks the right questions. The real effect of learning that 
science fiction wasn't kidding about atomic weapons came when 
it became manifest that it was not our private, vest-pocket secret. 

Test Mike was quite disturbing, too. And radioactive fall-out in 
your own backyard, your own local home dairy delivering 
milk that made the scintillometers tick off the counts. 

Probably nothing is so deeply disturbing as having a nice, safe, 
fantasy wake up, stretch immense muscles, yawn, and start look- 


ing around ... all on its own, and not controlled by your im- 
agination any more. 

The first published discussion of breeder reactors appeared in 
the pages of this magazine; that was in 1946, and we weren't 
kidding. The first published descriptions and discussions of ther- 
monuclear bombs appeared simultaneously in this magazine, and 
its companion magazine, Air Trails. That item specified the use of 
lithium hydride, triggered by uranium, and suggested a twenty- 
five mile radius of destruction. 

So that's a fantasy escape-literature, eh? We were just kidding, 

You'll also find a discussion of deuterium-deuterium fusion re- 
action for power back in 1939, also in this magazine. The basic 
reasons for using that reaction were outlined; they're the same 
reasons that underlie the present research for hydrogen-fusion 

Incidentally, the world will never use uranium, thorium, or 
plutonium fission power to any major extent. And that's a pre- 
diction on which I'm not kidding. The only practical power- 
reaction for massive use is the deuterium fusion reaction; that, 
or the lithium-hydrogen reaction. Reason: those two reactions, 
properly managed, yield helium and energy, and helium is ab- 
solutely non-dangerous. Fission products can be tolerated only 
in small quantities; large quantities cost too much to dispose of. 
The fuel may be cheap— but the ashes are too damned expensive. 
Deuterium and lithium are cheaper, and the ashes can be safely 
dumped right in a man's face. 

So we weren't kidding— and the discovery of that fact has lost 
us some readers. Since Astounding has, throughout its history as 
a Street & Smith magazine, never pretended it was kidding, 
and has, for twenty years, been the non-escape literature that 
seeks to meet the problems of tomorrow in the only possible way 
—"git them before they git you!"— Astounding has not suffered 
much. Nearly all of our readers have known right along that 
science fiction isn't fantasy, and isn't kidding. Hiroshima was an 
objective confirmation of what we already knew was real; Sput- 
nik again confirmed the theoretical work we had done on the 


problems of tomorrow. They weren't frightening revelations; we 
hadn't been kidding ourselves, or anyone else. 

But there are a lot of badly frightened people around. Some of 
those who decided to try science fiction after Sputnik went up 
must have left even faster than they came. If we weren't kidding 
when we talked about Sputnik . . . maybe we aren't kidding 
when we talk about aliens, Out There, who— horror incredible!— 
might be wiser and more powerful than Man. 

It is not my intention to turn to "safe" fantasy— the escape- 
literature that certainly is becoming more and more popular. 
Science fiction is not, and never will be a mass-appeal type of 
material; still, there are some who have the unusual characteristic 
of being able to enjoy a non-escape literature— who can look at a 
problem that hasn't slugged them over the head yet, and like 
thinking about it. 

From the consistent, strong shout of "Take it away!" every time 
Astounding has tried a story verging on the fantasy side, I'm sure 
this audience doesn't want escape literature. 

O.K., friends— stick around. We haven't been kidding— and we 
aren't going to kid anybody in the future. 

Even if they do go on thinking we're kidding when we talk 
about antigravity, faster-than-light interstellar travel, and some 
other things we don't have yet. 

Or ... at least we don't have them yet publicly. But two 
friends of mine, both professional, recognized scientists, have sep- 
arately, and circumstantially, reported watching a demonstra- 
tion of an antigravity device that worked. 

At the Los Angeles Science Fiction Convention in September, 
I stated my personal, present hunch. The first man to reach the 
Moon may get there with a rocket. But the first trips to the other 
planets will not be made by rockets. Not because rockets couldn't 
—but because the force field approach will intercept the line of 
rocket development. 

And I'm not kidding on that, either. 

February 1959 


The data that Mariner II signaled back as it passed Venus last 
December has been released only gradually— and turns out to be 
largely confirmation of the completely upsetting fact that Venus 
has a surface temperature of some 6oo° to 8oo°F. It's upsetting, 
because it shatters nearly all our conceptions of the nature of the 
planets— and of the probabilities of life on other worlds. 

Combined with the recent determination of the nature of Mars' 
reddish color, and the nature of those polar caps, the Solar System 
has suddenly become a mighty lonely-looking place. Mars' red- 
dish color, it now appears, is due to the familiar red-brown nitric 
oxide gas in its thin atmosphere— and the polar caps are solid 
masses of the white solid form of nitric oxide. It's unnecessary to 
look for water on Mars, now; if there is any free liquid, the brooks 
and lakes would be what is now familiarly designated as RFNA 
—fine for rocket fuels, but Red Fuming Nitric Acid isn't for 

But science fiction has lost more than its Venus colony— at 
8oo°F.? . . . !— and its Mars colony. We just lost the chance for 
intelligent aliens circling other stars. Because the facts we've 
now learned force a revision of our most basic conception of 
What Planets Are Like. 

We've been deluded by an especially tricky type of reasoning- 
trap, that is usually almost impossible to detect until after you've 
been suckered by it. In this case, it goes "I know what planets 
are like; I live on one." The stinker in that happens to be that 
our knowledge relates to a so-far-as-we-know absolutely unique 
planet, and one that our knowledge to date indicates must be at 
least extremely unusual in the Universe. 

You see, what we've overlooked is the fact that we live on 
one component of a binary planet. 

What are the chances of another binary planet like the Earth- 
Moon system circling another adequately long-lived star at a dis- 


tance producing a suitable temperature on a clear-atmosphere 

Venus has long been described as Earth's twin; with a diameter 
of 7,500 miles to Earth's 8,000, surface gravity eighty-five per 
cent of Earth's, at about two thirds Earth's distance from the 
Sun— it sure looked as though Venus would be very similar to 

The radio astronomers, several years ago, began getting data 
on the surface conditions on Venus— and the answers were so 
unbelievable that they were accepted only with the greatest re- 
luctance. That Venus, Earth's twin, should have a temperature 
that would melt lead was incredible. The fantastically high tem- 
perature readings were ascribed to some anomalous radio fre- 
quency emission from the planet. 

Optical astronomers couldn't penetrate Venus' cloud layer well 
enough to get even so much as data on the rate of the planet's 
rotation, let alone get any useful surface detail. The spectroscope, 
ordinarily able to answer many questions that direct observation 
couldn't, failed completely on Venus; whatever the planet's rota- 
tion rate, it was so slow that the spectroscope couldn't detect it. 
Whatever the atmosphere of Venus contained, it wasn't anything 
we could be sure of. Carbon dioxide . . . probably. Water . . . 
no readable indications. The planet of mystery . . . 

Radio astronomers, working at enormously longer wavelengths 
than those used by optical astronomers, were able to get signals 
from Venus that most probably did emanate from the actual solid 
surface, not from the clouds above. But their data came up with 
insane answers! Earth, if it were at Venus' distance, should have 
an average temperature of 150°F. That Venus could have a tem- 
perature so enormously higher . . . 

Repeated checks gave the same answers. And tests for radio 
frequency spectrum responses due to water vapor— it has spec- 
trum lines in the microwave region, as well as in the "optical" 
range— gave negative answers. 

We've known about the "greenhouse effect"— the ability of an 
atmosphere to trap solar energy by allowing short-wave visible 
energy in, but blocking the re-radiation of longer wavelength 
heat— for a long time. But never in the degree Venus now turns 


out to have! Venus has a "greenhouse" that could be used for a 
home pottery kiln, practically— certainly not as either a green- 
house or even a home bake-oven! 

The clouds appear to be a solid fifty to seventy-five mile thick 
layer of the most vicious kind of industrial smog-type compo- 
nents; complex hydrocarbons and assorted mineral acid vapors. 

We on Earth here tend to think of nitrogen as an "inert in- 
gredient" in an atmosphere. Completely wrong! Earth now ap- 
pears to be the only planet in the Solar System on which nitrogen 
is free in the atmosphere! On the giant planets— Jupiter, Saturn 
and the rest— nitrogen is linked with hydrogen in ammonia. And 
to form great mountains of a solid metallic substance that doesn't 
exist as free metal on Earth— ammonium metal, NH 4 . (Under the 
extreme pressures in the giant planets' atmospheres, NH 3 -f H2 
is less stable than the solid metallic form, NH 4 . ) 

On Mars, nitrogen is finked up with oxygen in nitric oxide. On 
Venus, seemingly, nitric oxides are present also. (And, inciden- 
tally, in the Sun's atmosphere, nitrogen is one of the few ele- 
ments that can remain in combination even at solar temperatures 
—that everybody-knows-its-inert element combines with carbon to 
form cyanogen— CN— can be detected in the solar spectrum. ) 

Down on the surface of Venus, under the tens of miles of 
smog, the conditions closely approximate the conditions at the 
bottoms of Earth's deepest seas in several important respects. 
The darkness is absolute; there is no light whatever. There is 
moreover, neither weather nor climate; the immensely thick in- 
sulating blanket prevents all temperature fluctuations from day 
to day— even with Venus weeks-long day— or from year to year. 
Down there, there is only an unending, searing, black calm. 

Earth has jet streams in its atmosphere— stratosphere, to be ac- 
curate—which roar around the planet at hundreds of miles an 
hour, constituting a major heat-distribution mechanism. Venus 
has jet streams, too— but with the immense depth of atmosphere, 
and the enormous heat differentials resulting from the very slow 
rotation, Venus' jet streams apparently achieve wind velocities of 
thousands of miles an hour. 

Those stupendous winds high in Venus' atmosphere do not, 
however, mean that the surface layers of that atmosphere are 


disturbed; Earth's jet stream are only a few miles above Earth's 
surface, yet immediately under a 250-mile-an-hour jet stream 
there may be the dead calm of a hot summer day. 

Venus' atmosphere supports completely opaque clouds some 
sixty miles above the planet's surface, Mariner II reported. At a 
fifty mile altitude above Earth, by current definition, a man is 
legally in space. And certainly it's far beyond aerodynamic flight 

To be able to support opaque clouds at sixty miles, Venus must 
have many, many times Earth's atmosphere. If it matches Earth's 
cloud-layer density at sixty miles, remember that Earth's atmos- 
pheric density doubles, approximately, every five miles you go 
down. If Venus' doubles for each six miles, then Venus must have 
several hundred times as much atmosphere as Earth. 

And this is Earth's "twin planet"? 

All the work the geophysicists, cosmologists and astrophysicists 
have done during the past century must now be massively re- 
evaluated. In computing the way a planet gains or loses atmos- 
phere, they have, naturally, checked their computations against 
the facts concerning the available planet— Earth. 

It turns out they've been checking their figures against a plane- 
tary freak. Venus, nearly exactly Earth's size, retained scores of 
times as much atmospheric gas— and if anything, Venus is smaller, 
and we now know it's also very much hotter. Earth's atmosphere 
should be at least two whole orders of magnitude greater than it 

Mercury, of course, has no atmosphere; as close to the Sun as 
it is, and as small as it is— almost exactly three thousand miles in 
diameter— it couldn't retain gases. 

Of the other eight planets, only three have transparent atmos- 
pheres—Earth, Mars and Neptune. (Pluto is unknown, but almost 
certainly clear. ) Neptune's is clear because the planet's tempera- 
ture is so low that nothing but hydrogen, helium and neon re- 
main gaseous; there's nothing to make a condensable vapor at 
those temperatures. Mars' is clear because of its extreme thinness. 

And Earth's is clear because of its extreme thinness. 


Every other major planet capable of retaining atmosphere is a 
clouded-atmosphere, or opaque-atmosphere planet. 

Earth's a freak. 

In the past, we've guesstimated the probable surface tempera- 
ture of other planets by supposing Earth were in the orbit of 
the other planet. In Venus' orbit, Earth would have a temperature 
of about i5o°F. In Mars' orbit, Earth would have a temperature 
about — 4o°F. In Jupiter's orbit . . . 

And now that we know Earth is in fact a freak, how about 
trying Venus as the sample— what of Venus-type opaque- 
atmosphere planets at those different distances? That would 
make much more sense, since, with the exception of Mars, the 
others we're interested in are opaque-atmosphere worlds! 

On the basis of Venus' actual surface temperature, Jupiter and 
Saturn both may have a liquid-water surface temperature. 

Recently I had an editorial here on the question of which stars 
might be expected to have planets capable of supporting life. 

All of those remarks now have to be re-evaluated— because it 
now appears that planets as close to Sol-type stars as Earth and, 
probably, Mars will normally have surface temperatures well 
above 2i2°F. Earth would have a surface temperature— if it 
weren't a freak— above the 372°C. temperature at which water 
becomes a "permanent gas," i.e., no amount of pressure can 
liquify it. The life-temperatures zone around a star, in other 
words, starts for normal, opaque-atmosphere planets, much far- 
ther out than Earth, and extends to the region where even an 
opaque-atmosphere heat-trap can't keep the planet warm. 

There is, however, one slight difficulty. 

Life evolved on Earth, and we've had a lot of discussion and 
studies to show that life would, by the nature of things, tend to 
evolve on any planet having the necessary temperature range. 

Sorry ... try again! On any freak binary planet having a 
clear atmosphere, and also having gravity enough to retain light 
gases such as the hydrogen necessary for making water. 

One of the strange anomalies of life in Earth's oceans is that the 
Antarctic Sea is by far the most densely populated body of water 
on Earth. It certainly seems improbable that life should congre- 
gate most thickly in that icy cold zone of long, bitter nights. 


The reason depends on the fact that life must have three ab- 
solute essentials; light, for energy input; fluid for chemical trans- 
port medium; and minerals to be transported and interacted. 

The ocean deeps have the greatest concentration of minerals; 
there, there are the minerals needed for abundant life . . . but 
there is no light, so none of the photosynthetic life forms can get 
the energy to live, and only a very few scavenger forms live on 
detritus raining down from the upper levels. 

In the tropical waters, where light is brilliantly and regularly 
available, and the water is warm, which tends to speed biological 
processes . . . there is so acute a shortage of minerals— particu- 
larly phosphorus— that the microscopic plant forms on which the 
whole life chain of the ocean depends cannot grow. 

But in the Antarctic Sea, the deep waters from the ocean floor, 
heavily laced with minerals, are forced up to the ocean surface 
—into the zone where light, water, and minerals can be found 
simultaneously. The sea swarms with life I 

An opaque-atmosphere planet presents a not-entirely-dissimilar 
problem. At the surface of the planet are minerals; at the top of 
the atmosphere is light energy. But is there any way for the two 
ever to get together with a usable fluid? 

In the case of Venus, we have evidence that there is no water, 
even in the deep layers of the atmosphere, for even microwave 
radio astronomy hasn't detected it. But assume a Venus-like 
planet that did have water vapor. 

Nov/ the top cloud layers of Venus have a temperature around 
sixty degrees below zero F.; the surface has a temperature around 
eight hundred degrees above zero; there must be a region some- 
where in between where water can exist as a liquid. 

However, the problem life would encounter is this: at the 
lighted surface of an opaque-atmosphere planet, the temperature 
is very low. Ammonia might serve as a life fluid at that level. 
But the deep levels are much too hot for the cold-level fluid to 
exist! No one substance would be usable as a fluid both at the 
lighted top zone, and at the mineral-rich bottom! 

There is, of course, always some dust in a planetary atmos- 
phere. How about dust being carried up from die mineralized 


surface levels to a fluid level far enough up for photosynthesis? 

Up through anything from fifty to five thousand miles of 
opaque atmosphere, you mean? Remember, the bottom of an 
opaque atmosphere is, by the nature of the processes, calm. 
Mighty little dust-stirring there, where the dust exists to be 
stirred. Venus' upper lighted levels may well get more dust-input 
from micrometeorites falling from space than from stragglers who 
climbed fifty miles against gravity to reach sunlight. 

In Jupiter's case, the outer layers are definitely known to be 
ammonia clouds, laced with metallic sodium. But the opaque- 
atmosphere model suggests that Jupiter's surface temperatures 
must be in the liquid-water range, or perhaps even higher. (If 
those opaque atmospheres trap solar heat that effectively, they 
must also block the escape of radioactive heat to a fantastic de- 
gree. And the quantity of potassium-40 in the mass of Jupiter 
would generate quite a little heat! ) 

Jupiter would then be a case of a planet whereon only an 
ammonia-fluid life form could exist in the photo-active levels— 
and only a water-fluid life form could exist in the surface layers! 
And inasmuch as there is strong evidence for free metallic sodium 
and metallic ammonium in Jupiter's clouds, neither of which can 
coexist with H 2 0, we can drop that problem. 

So . . . can an opaque-atmosphere planet permit the evolu- 
tion of living forms? 

Evidently life-as-we-know it would be unable to find the three 
necessities in any place simultaneously. 

Now the mass of matter in the Universe is practically pure 
hydrogen, with some helium, and traces of contamination by 
heavier elements. Planets, because of their small gravitational 
fields, lose practically all the gases, and retain only the trace con- 
taminants; Jupiter and Saturn have made out somewhat better, 
but even they must have lost something like ninety-eight per 
cent of the original gaseous mass from which their remaining 
matter was gathered. 

The most abundant elements seem to be— after hydrogen and 
helium, of course— the lighter elements, which are the ones first 
manufactured in stellar cores, and iron, which is the lowest- 
energy nucleus and the true ash of stellar thermonuclear reac- 


tions. (Energy is released in building all elements up to Fe-56; 
energy is consumed in building all elements above Fe-56. U-235 
fissions and yields energy because it is far above the Fe-56 least- 
energy-nucleus structure, and breaking down toward the lighter 
elements yields energy.) 

There are three elements that can't exist in stellar thermonu- 
clear cores— lithium, beryllium and boron have no isotopes that 
can maintain existence in a thermonuclear core. Deuterium— 
"heavy hydrogen"— can't remain either. These four react more 
rapidly, at a lower temperature, than does hydrogen— so they go 
first and fastest. 

The element next after boron is carbon— and carbon, oxygen 
and nitrogen are the three elements taking part in the "solar 
Phoenix" reaction, important thermonuclear processes in stellar 
mechanics. After oxygen comes fluorine— which has a single iso- 
tope, F-19, and while it's stable, it doesn't stand up well in a 
thermonuclear core. Then we get to neon, sodium, magnesium 
and aluminum. 

In the raw material of planets, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and 
oxygen play crucial roles. Hydrogen and oxygen are the most 
abundant— so far as Solar System indications go!— with nitrogen 
and carbon less so. Oxygen can combine to form oxides of the 
rocky types with silicon, magnesium, and aluminum; in addition, 
hydrogen oxide— water— is, of course, common. 

Nitrogen can combine either with oxygen or hydrogen— but at 
planetary temperatures, neither nitrides of the metals nor the 
cyanogens seem to be favored. 

In Earth's atmosphere, nitric oxides are constantly being 
formed by solar electron bombardment, UV activity, and by elec- 
tric sparks— lightning— in the atmosphere. And the biological ac- 
tivities of organisms are greedily consuming every molecule of 
the combined nitrogen they can get hold of. If if weren't for the 
biological activities, nitrogen oxides would accumulate in Earth's 

In Jupiter's atmosphere, the immense excess of hydrogen swept 
all the oxygen out of the atmosphere; there, the enormous pres- 
sure makes the reaction N 2 + 3H2 = 2NH3 strongly favored. 

On Earth, the free oxygen in the atmosphere tends to favor 


strongly the production of carbon dioxide; on Jupiter, the hydro- 
gen excess favors the formation of carbon tetrahydride— methane, 
CH 4 . 

In each case, the atmospheres of the planets grow almost solely 
from the interactions of the four lightest thermonuclear-stable 
elements, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. 

The thermonuclear probabilities make it very unlikely that any 
other gases could be important on planets elsewhere in the Uni- 
verse. Fluorine, the only other first row of the periodic table ele- 
ment, is very low in cosmic abundance. (The helium nucleus of 
mass number 4 seems to be the stable unit of construction for 
the lighter elements. Oxygen- 16 is four times He 4 ; carbon- 12 is 
three times, and neon-20 is five times. Fluorine- 19 is not favored. 
Nitrogen- 14, halfway between C 12 and O 16 and one of the major 
steps in the "solar Phoenix reaction" is favored.) 

Venus' smog-type opaque atmosphere appears to be made up 
of what might be expected from those interactions. Evidently the 
planet— somewhat fighter than Earth and nearer the Suns heat 
and ionization— lost nearly all its hydrogen while forming. Most 
of its oxygen combined with rock-forming elements. The re- 
maining hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen assorted them- 
selves into a system partway between the ammonia-methane sys- 
tem of Jupiter, and the nitric-oxide system of the still-lighter 
planet Mars. 

Start with the hydrocarbon-ammonia atmosphere of Jupiter, 
and reduce the hydrogen content while leaving the other gases 
fairly constant. The ammonia will go over to nitrogen oxides, the 
carbon will go from methane, CH 4 , to CO and C0 2 , as oxygen 
becomes relatively dominant. The interaction of the resulting mix- 
ture of nitrogen and carbon oxides with methane will lead to 
the production of higher, more complex hydrocarbons and hydro- 
carbon derivatives. There will be complex aldehydes, alcohols 
and organic acids, with assorted attached nitro and amine groups. 

These reactions will be driven by the high-energy radiation of 
the Sun— the ultraviolet quanta, impacting electrons and protons, 
soft X rays, et cetera, reacting on the uppermost layers of the 
planet's atmosphere. 


Our own atmosphere shows traces of nitric oxides from solar 
bombardment at the uppermost levels, for instance. 

Now Venus has so high a surface temperature that there is no 
usable fluid at the surface. But— suppose Venus had a bit more 
water, and were moved out to Jupiter's distance. We would then 
have a curious possibility for a totally new kind of life-system. 

That process of radiation-excited reactions between the atmos- 
pheric hydrocarbons and nitric oxides will tend to produce fairly 
complex organic compounds. Radiation-produced amines and 
radiation-induced acids will combine on contact to form larger 
and more complex molecules— which will tend to sift downward 
under gravity. 

These complex organic compounds can serve as food for living 
cells that operate on a fermentation basis! It would be possible, 
in other words, for a life-system to evolve on an opaque-atmos- 
phere planet, with no equivalent of plant forms! The planet's 
atmosphere itself would serve to fix radiant energy in the form of 
organic compounds, and the slow trickle of resulting compounds 
downward to the fluid-mineral supply at the surface would make 
life possible in total absence of light energy input. 

The resultant surface life would all be "animal," in the sense 
of being energy-releasers rather than energy-fixing organisms. 
Like the living forms at the bottoms of our ocean deeps, the 
whole system would be dependent on the thin rain of organic 
detritus from far above. Living in absolute darkness, on very thin 
rations, they would, in effect, be smog-eating organisms. Their 
output of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water would return to the 
atmosphere, filtering slowly up through the vast blanket of 
opaque smog, to the reactivation levels where sunlight could act 
on it. 

Life-as-we-know it, with plants and animals in a balanced 
symbiosis, would not be possible. And the purely accidental 
radiation-activation of atmospheric components suggested would 
be immeasurably less efficient than the photosynthetic activities 
of plants. But still, a thin population of living things could evolve 
—a population as thin as, or thinner than, that in our ocean deeps. 

And this could happen on what we must now recognize as the 
normal type of planet— the opaque-atmosphere planet. 


But . . . could intelligent organisms evolve? Say on Jupiter. Thin 
as the population might be, with the stupendous size of the 
planet, there would still be possibilities of millions of entities. 

The work on Project Ozma, seeking to contact possible other 
intelligent races on nearby other-star planets, assumed that any 
race as intelligent as the human race would, like us, develop and 
use radio-frequency communication. 

We now have serious reason to question that. 

On an opaque-atmosphere world, an intelligent race would 
never see sun, stars or planets; they would have neither weather 
nor climate. 

Human science started with astrology— the science of predict- 
ing coming events— seasons— by the stars. It led to the necessity of 
measurement of angles. Quantitative-measurement is the basis of 
all our sciences— and they developed largely from astrology and 
surveying, which developed from the angle-measurement work 
and geometrical studies astrology induced. Astronomy offers no 
immediate pragmatic rewards such that a subsistence-level cul- 
ture would support an observatory and an observer; astrology 
did. It was most decidedly important to learn how to predict the 
change of seasons. And then surveying became possible as a 
sort of unexpected bonus. And then . . . 

The dark- world intelligences would not have that stimulus. 

On Earth, the Eastern philosophers have tended far more to- 
ward the non-quantitative, purely-qualitative fields of subjective 

If, even on Earth, where there is powerful direct stimulus to- 
ward the quantitative measurement sciences, a major portion of 
the human philosophers have tended toward the qualitative- 
subjective— what would the dark-worlders do? 

Radio techniques are an outgrowth of optics, actually— an ex- 
tension of electromagnetic theory of light into lower frequencies 
was the original motivation of Hertz's experiments. 

There's evidence that quite different types of possibilities exist, 
beyond the domain of science we know. Clairvoyants have 
existed; ESP does occur. Telekinesis has happened. 

Suppose that there are planets of Tau Ceti, and Project Ozma's 
beamed radio signals are quite futile— just as futile as the Tau 


Cetans beamed clairvoyance-band transmissions. Never having 
worked with the electromagnetic spectrum, they don't have the 
radio-optical gadget we know as TV; they use an equally 
sophisticated gadget that is a clairvoyance machine. And they 
know that, obviously, any equally intelligent race anywhere must 
surely develop clairvoyance transmission equipment. 

Would we recognize their civilization if we saw it? Or would 
they recognize ours if they encountered it? 

They've been saying those "flying saucers" are purely illusions. 
Well— maybe they are. Purely subjective phenomena. Remote 
clairvoyance pickups, purely subjective devices, transmitted from 
Jupiter or Tau Ceti VI or ... ? 

But one thing seems rather starkly clear from the data we now 

The Universe may be full of planets— millions and millions of 
them. Nice, normal planets . . . like Venus or Mercury or Jupiter. 

But Man is going to have a problem. Terra-type planets are 
binary planets. It takes the contending gravitational fields of two 
condensing nuclei to strip the gases away from a major planetary 
body and leave a medium-large planet with a freakishly clear 

And we're going to be pretty lonely in the Universe as a result. 

Where is everybody? 

Hidden under an impenetrable blanket of viciously corrosive 
smog ... if they exist at all. 

July 1963 


Over the last few years, successive decisions of the Supreme 
Court have reduced the areas where religious practices are per- 
mitted. Currently, the public schools are no longer permitted to 
offer prayers to God. 

This would, I think, be somewhat startling to the Founding 
Fadiers— and to the peoples who established this nation in pursuit 
of their own brand of religious freedom. The Puritans— the 
Quakers— the various religious groups and sects that did a very 
great deal to build up this nation. 

If such a ruling had been handed down by His Majesty's 
Courts, in the Colonies, in the days of King George III, it could 
be expected that the American Colonists would have revolted at 
that point, without waiting for "taxation without representation." 
The large Irish population in this country came here quite largely 
as a result of English attempts to induce them to change their 
religious practices. 

The fact that there has been almost no popular rebellion or 
loud outcry against the Supreme Court decision shows that the 
attitude of the people on that subject was correctly interpreted 
by the Court. The American people today do not want God to be 
so prominent in their lives; the decision of the Court was a popu- 
lar one— an expression of the feelings of the people of the nation. 

Perhaps we can understand the change in attitude toward God 
and religion in terms of the change of concepts of what is "good" 
and "the way it should be." 

The Colonists who came over here did not come to set up a 
democracy— or any other particular form of political government. 
They did not revolt against the English King and then come over 
here— they were not motivated by political concepts. The Irish 
who came over to escape the religious persecution in Ireland were 
not politically motivated in the sense of wanting democracy vs. 
some other ocracy. They would have been happy to come over 


to a full absolute monarchy . . . provided the monarchy permit- 
ted them religious freedom. Their objection was not that the King 
of England wanted to be King— but that he wanted to replace 
the Pope. 

It's important to recognize the very real distinction between 
political and religious motivations— for that very important divi- 
sion is being diluted and washed away in the modern philosophy. 
Politics is the area of human rule; religion is the area of divine 

The major rejection of God in modern societies stems from a 
simple fundamental: God is not democratic. He violates every 
basic tenet of Democracy. Naturally such a concept is intolerable 
in a democratic society. 

The basic conception of Deity holds that the Creator is an ab- 
solute tyrant, who has such powers of detection and espionage 
that nothing takes place without His awareness. That His deci- 
sions are absolute, unarguable, and— by definition!— always Right 
and Just. That He has absolute and inescapable power of Life 
and Death. 

In other words, that God is the ultimate in absolute tyrants, 
with an information system that penetrates everywhere, always, 
and the ultimate in police power to punish and/or reward. 

This is in absolute and violent conflict with the ideals of popular 
democracy. God is right, even if all the people vote against Him 
—a violation of the basic postulate of Democracy that the vote 
of the People determines Right and Wrong, Good and Evil. 

The fundamental of theology is that human will, human 
thought, and human consensus are not the ultimate determinant 
of Right in the Universe. That all men always are and always 
will be subject to the Will of God. 

Now note one factor here very carefully: It is totally unneces- 
sary to raise any question of Faith, or factual reality of the above 
concepts to be able to analyze the purely logical consequences. 
We have two sets of postulates: 

1. Democracy holds that the Will of the People is the Su- 
preme and Final determining factor in what is Right, what 
Should Be Done. That the Will of the People should direct 
executive officers— that the people should not be directed by 


their leaders. That any Entity who seeks to oppose or suppress 
the Will of the People is a— vicious, evil, destructive— tyrant. 
2. Religion holds that the Will of God is the Supreme and 
Absolute determining factor in what is Right, what Should Be 
Done. That anyone opposing the Will of God will be punished 
by God, unless he truly mends his ways— and that God, being 
omniscient, is not going to be deceived. 

Now religious freedom, in its true sense, does not deny any of 
the postulates of religion. Moslem, Christian and Jew— Protestant 
and Catholic— can all agree on those basics. Religious freedom 
simply acknowledges that man, not being divine and omniscient, 
does not know-for-sure what the Laws of God actually are. The 
practice of that degree of humility is something men attained 
only relatively recently, very bloodily, over many centuries. It 
amounts to recognizing, finally, that while God's laws are indeed 
absolute— men's understanding of them isn't. 

The religious freedom being sought by the men who founded 
America was simply that proposition; the right to obey what they 
believed the Absolute Laws of God were. 

What we have in America today, however, is something quite 
different. It doesn't hold simply that no one group can know-for- 
sure the Absolute Laws of the One God— it holds that if there is a 
God, there should not be, for He would be an absolute— vicious, 
evil, destructive— tyrant, since any entity seeking to overrule the 
Will of the People is vicious, evil, and to be rejected. 

This attitude is a necessary consequence of the basic postulates 
of Popular Democracy; the Will of the People is the absolute 
source of Right, and all tyrants are, de facto, evil. Therefore, the 
Will of God cannot be tolerated, because it would be tyrannical, 
and evil since it opposed the Will of the People. 

Moreover, there are many personal aspects of an acceptance of 
religion that become acutely discomforting to many people. God 
has been called "The Great Snoop"; those who would prefer to 
have their acts and doings very completely private do not find 
the idea of an all-knowing God at all comfortable. 

Then the concept that there are absolute laws that are not 


"just matters of opinion, and my opinion's as good as anyone 
else's!" doesn't sit well with another type of personality. 

God, too, is called The Great Judge— and Democracy has a 
much kindlier concept; that no one should judge his fellows. 
This business of a Great Judge who sits in unarguable judgment, 
as Judge, Jury, and Prosecuting Attorney— complete with built-in 
and inescapable truth-perception— turns many more away from 
the idea of such a tyrannical system toward the kindlier ideas of 

The churches continue to prosper— but one of the most prosper- 
ous I know of is a suburban church where Sunday is the com- 
munity fashion show and social get-together. Church and Courts 
alike have recognized the temper of the people, the popular 
belief that ruling tyrants are inherently evil, to be rejected— an 
image to be softened. Not a stern, just, all-powerful but merciful 
King, but a jolly politician type, who recognizes the Will of the 
People, and does favors for the Right People. 

That particular school of theology has been tried by other cul- 
tures, other times in other places. It doesn't work. The culture 
comes apart at the seams— for the essence of that form of "theol- 
ogy" is that there is no hard discipline, no real necessities, in the 

For the revolt is not against God— but against the concepts of 
discipline, of forces in the Universe greater than human will, and 
mass opinion. The delusion that popular opinion is the determin- 
ing force in the Universe, that what The People want is, thereby, 
Right is a basic tenet of popular democracy as now taught. 

It has seemed to me that one of the reasons that so many people 
dislike Science— find scientists "cold and inhuman"— is that 
Science consists of studying and recognizing the factors in the 
Universe that are not subject to popular democracy, are not a 
"matter of opinion," and partake, remarkably, of the characteris- 
tics ascribed, by theology, to the Will of God! The Laws of the 
Universe are quite absolute indeed— and ruthlessly just. Obey 
them scrupulously, and they work for you; defy them, and you 
get crushed quite casually, without the slightest bitterness, or 
anger— or concern. 


The scientist, directly concerned with those absolutes, doesn't 
have the easy, human willingness to give a little— stretch a point 
for a friend— that the politician understands. He acts almost as 
rigidly unyielding as an old-time dedicated priest. 

Perhaps there is no God after all. 

But there is One Universe, and its laws are absolute, unswerv- 
ing, unyielding, and enforced on us without argument. 

The danger to a nation, to a people, is in the idea that the Will 
of die People can legislate away the necessity for discipline, the 
necessity of recognizing there are greater and more important 
things, than human wishes. 

AboHshing God may not be quite as simple as the people would 

It may be that not even the Supreme Court has jurisdiction in 
that area— that there really is a higher Court that will overrule it. 

April 1964